π1v omitted3 words A1r

of the

or, The
Fair Vow-Breaker.

Written by Mrs. A. Behn.

1688-10-22Octob. 22. 1688. Ric. Pocock.

Printed for A. Baskerville, at the Bible,
the Corner of Essex-Street, against
St. Clement’s Church, 16891689.

A1v flawed-reproduction3 words A2r

To the Most Illustrious
Princess, The Dutchess
of Mazarine


There are none of an
Illustrious Quality,
who have not been
made, by some Poet or other,
the Patronesses of his Distress’d
Hero, or Unfortunate
Damsel; and such Addresses
are Tributes, due
only to the most Elevated,
where they have always been
very well receiv’d, since they
are the greatest Testimonies A2 we A2v
we can give, of our Esteem
and Veneration.

Madam, when I survey’d
the whole Toor of Ladies at
Court, which was Adorn’d by
you, who appear’d there with
a Grace and Majesty, peculiar
to Your Great Self only,
mix’d with an irresistible
Air of Sweetness, Generosity,
and Wit, I was impatient
for an Opportunity, to tell
Your Grace, how infinitely
one of Your own Sex ador’d
You, and that, among all the
numerous Conquest, Your Grace A3r
Grace has made over the
Hearts of Men, Your Grace
had not subdu’d a more intire
Slave; I assure you,
Madam, there is neither
Compliment, nor Poetry, in
this humble Declaration, but
a Truth, which has cost me
a great deal of Inquietude,
for that Fortune has not set
me in such a Station, as
might justifie my Pretence
to the honour and satisfaction
of being ever near Your
Grace, to view eternally that
lovely Person, and here that sur- A3v
surprizing Wit; what can
be more grateful to a Heart,
than so great, and so agreeable,
an Entertainment? And
how few Objects are there,
that can render it so entire
a Pleasure, as at once to hear
you speak, and to look upon
your Beauty? A Beauty that
is heighten’d, if possible, with
an air of Negligence, in
Dress, wholly Charming, as
if your Beauty disdain’d those
little Arts of your Sex, which
Nicety alone is their greatest
Charm, while yours, Ma- A4r
Madam, even without the
Assistance of your exalted
Birth, begets an Awe and
Reverence in all that do approach
you, and every one is
proud, and pleas’d, in paying
you Homage their several
ways, according to their Capacities
and Talents; mine,
Madam, can only be exprest
by my Pen, which would be
infinitely honour’d, in being
permitted to celebrate your
great Name for ever, and
perpetually to serve, where it
has so great an inclination.

In A4v

In the mean time, Madam,
I presume to lay this
little Trifle at your Feet; the
Story is true, as it is on the
Records of the Town, where
it was transacted; and if
my fair unfortunate Vow-
do not deserve the
honour of your Graces Protection,
at least, she will be
found worthy of your Pity;
which will be a sufficient
Glory, both for her, and,

Your Graces most humble,
and most obedient Servant,

A. Behn.

B1r 1

Henrietta The Johnston
History her Book
of the
or, The
Fair Vow-Breaker.

Of all the Sins, incident to
Human Nature, there is
none, of which Heaven
has took so particular, visible,
and frequent Notice, and Revenge,
as on that of Violated Vows, B which B1v 2
which never go unpunished; and
the cupids may boast what they
will, for the encouragement of their
Trade of Love, that Heaven never
takes cognisance of Lovers broken
Vows and Oaths, and that ’tis the
only Perjury that escapes the Anger
of the Gods: But I verily believe,
if it were search’d into, we should
find these frequent Perjuries, that
pass in the World for so many Gallantries
only, to be the occasion of
so many unhappy Marriages, and
the cause of all those Misfortunes,
which are so frequent to the Nuptiall’d
Pair. For not one of a
Thousand, but, either on his side,
or on hers, has been perjur’d,
and broke Vows made to some
fond believing Wretch, whom they
have abandon’d and undone. What
Man that does not boast of the
Numbers he has thus ruin’d, and,
who does not glory in the shameful Tri- B2r 3
Triumph? Nay, what Woman, almost,
has not the pleasure in Deceiving,
taught, perhaps, at first, by
some dear false one, who had fatally
instructed her Youth in an Art she
ever after practis’d, in Revenge on
all those she could be too hard for,
and conquer at their own Weapons?
For, without all dispute, Women
are by Nature more Constant and
Just, than Men, and did not their
first Lovers teach them the trick of
Change, they would be Doves, that
would never quit their Mate, and,
like Indian Wives, would leap alive
into the Graves of their deceased Lovers,
and be buried quick with ’em.
But Customs of Countries change
even Nature her self, and long Habit
takes her place: The Women are
taught, by the Lives of the Men,
to live up to all their Vices, and are
become almost as inconstant; and
tis but Modesty that makes the difference,B2 ference, B2v 4
and, hardly, inclination; so
deprav’d the nicest Appetites grow
in time, by bad Examples.

But, as there are degrees of Vows,
so there are degrees of Punishments
for Vows, there are solemn Matrimonial
Vows, such as contract and
are the most effectual Marriage, and
have the most reason to be so; there
are a thousand Vows and Friendships,
that pass between Man and
Man, on a thousand Occasions; but
there is another Vow, call’d a Sacred
, made to God only; and, by
which, we oblige our selves eternally
to serve him with all Chastity
and Devotion: This Vow is only
taken, and made, by those that enter
into Holy Orders, and, of all broken
Vows, these are those, that receive
the most severe and notorious
Revenges of God; and I am almost
certain, there is not one Example to
be produc’d in the World, where Per B3r 5
Perjuries of this nature have past unpunish’d,
nay, that have not been
persu’d with the greatest and most
rigorous of Punishments. I could my
self, of my own knowledge, give
an hundred Examples of the fatal
Consequences of the Violation of
Sacred Vows; and who ever make
it their business, and are curious in
the search of such Misfortunes, shall
find, as I say, that they never go

The young Beauty therefore, who
dedicates her self to Heaven, and
weds her self for ever to the service
of God, ought, first, very well to
consider the Self-denial she is going
to put upon her Youth, her fickle
faithless deceiving Youth, of one
Opinion to day, and of another to
morrow; like Flowers, which never
remain in one state or fashion,
but bud to day, and blow by insensible
degrees, and decay as imperceptibly.B3 cepti- B3v 6
The Resolution, we promise,
and believe we shall maintain,
is not in our power, and nothing is
so deceitful as human Hearts.

I once was design’d an humble
Votary in the House of Devotion,
but fancying my self not endu’d
with an obstinacy of Mind, great
enough to secure me from the Efforts
and Vanities of the World, I
rather chose to deny my self that
Content I could not certainly promise
my self, than to languish (as I
have seen some do) in a certain Affliction;
tho’ possibly, since, I have
sufficiently bewailed that mistaken
and inconsiderate Approbation and
Preference of the false ungrateful
World, (full of nothing but Nonsense,
Noise, false Notions, and
Contradiction) before the Innocence
and Quiet of a Cloyster;
nevertheless, I could wish, for the
prevention of abundance of Mischiefschiefs B4r 7
and Miseries, that Nunneries
and Marriages were not to be enter’d
into, ’till the Maid, so destin’d,
were of a mature Age to make her
own Choice; and that Parents would
not make use of their justly assum’d
Authority to compel their Children,
neither to the one or the other;
but since I cannot alter Custom, nor
shall ever be allow’d to make new
Laws, or rectify the old ones, I must
leave the Young Nuns inclos’d
to their best Endeavours, of making
a Virtue of Necessity; and the young
Wives, to make the best of a bad

In Iper, a Town, not long since,
in the Dominions of the King of
, and now in possession of the
King of France, there liv’d a Man
of Quality, of a considerable Fortune,
call’d, Count Henrick de Vallary,
who had a very beautiful Lady,
by whom, he had one Daughter, B4 call’d B4v 8
call’d Isabella, whose Mother dying,
when she was about two years old,
to the unspeakable Grief of the
Count, her Husband, he resolv’d
never to partake of any Pleasure
more, that this transitory World
could court him with, but determin’d,
with himself, to dedicate his
Youth, and future Days, to Heaven,
and to take upon him Holy Orders;
and, without considering, that, possibly,
the young Isabella, when she
grew to Woman, might have Sentiments
contrary to those that now
possest him, he design’d she should
also become a Nun: However, he
was not so positive in that Resolution,
as to put the matter wholly
out of her Choice, but divided his
Estate; one half he carried with
him to the Monastery of Jesuits, of
which number, he became one; and
the other half, he gave with Isabella,
to the Monastery, of which, his only B5r 9
only Sister was Lady Abbess, of the
Order of St. Augustine; but so he
ordered the matter, that if, at the
Age of Thirteen, Isabella had not a
mind to take Orders, or that the
Lady Abbess found her Inclination
averse to a Monastick Life, she should
have such a proportion of the Revenue,
as should be fit to marry her
to a Noble Man, and left it to the
discretion of the Lady Abbess, who
was a Lady of known Piety, and
admirable strictness of Life, and so
nearly related to Isabella, that there
was no doubt made of her Integrity
and Justice.

The little Isabella was carried immediately
(in her Mourning for her
dead Mother) into the Nunnery,
and was receiv’d as a very diverting
Companion by all the young Ladies,
and, above all, by her Reverend
Aunt, for she was come just to the
Age of delighting her Parents; she B5 was B5v 10
was the prettiest forward Pratler in
the World, and had a thousand little
Charms to please, besides the young
Beauties that were just budding in
her little Angel Face: So that she
soon became the dear lov’d Favourite
of the whole House; and as she
was an Entertainment to them all,
so they made it their study to find
all the Diversions they could for the
pretty Isabella; and as she grew in
Wit and Beauty every day, so they
fail’d not to cultivate her Mind, and
delicate Apprehension, in all that
was advantageous to her Sex, and
whatever Excellency any one abounded
in, she was sure to communicate
it to the young Isabella, if
once could Dance, another Sing,
another play on this Instrument, and
another on that; if this spoke one
Language, and that another, if she
had Wit, and she Discretion, and
a third, the finest Fashion and Manners;ners; B6r 11
all joyn’d to compleat the
Mind and Body of this beautiful
young Girl: Who, being undiverted
with the less noble, and less solid,
Vanities of the World, took to
these Virtues, and excell’d in all;
and her Youth and Wit being apt
for all Impressions, she soon became
a greater Mistress of their Arts, than
those who taught her; so that at
the Age of eight or nine Years; she
was thought fit to receive and entertain
all the great Men and Ladies,
and the Strangers of any Nation,
at the Grate; and that with so admirable
a Grace, so quick and piercing
a Wit, and so delightful and
sweet a Conversation, that she became
the whole Discourse of the
Town, and Strangers spread her
Fame as prodigious, throughout the
Christian World; for Strangers came
only to hear her talk, and sing, and
play, and to admire her Beauty; and La- B6v 12
Ladies brought their Children to
shame ’em into good Fashion and
Manners, with looking on the lovely
young Isabella.

The Lady Abbess, her Aunt, you
may believe, was not a little proud
of the Excellencies and Virtues of
her fair NieeeNiece, and omitted nothing
that might adorn her Mind; because,
not only of the vastness of
her Parts and Fame, and the Credit
she would do her House, by residing
there for ever; but also, being
very loth to part with her considerable
Fortune, which she must resign,
if she returned into the World,
she us’d all her Arts and Stratagems
to make her become a Nun, to
which all the fair Sisterhood contributed
their Cunning, but it was
altogether needless; her Inclination,
the strictness of her Devotion,
her early Prayers, and those
continual, and innate Stedfastness, and B7r 13
and Calm, she was Mistress of; her
Ignorance of the World’s Vanities,
and those that uninclos’d young
Ladies count Pleasures and Diversions
being all unknown to her, she
thought there was no Joy out of a
Nunnery, and no Satisfactions on the
other side of a Grate.

The Lady Abbess, seeing, that of
her self she yielded faster than she
could expect; to discharge her Conscience
to her Brother, who came
frequently to visit his Darling Isabella,
would very often discourse to
her of the Pleasures of the World,
telling her, how much happier she
would think her self, to be the Wife
of some gallant young Cavalier, and
to have Coaches and Equipage;
to see the World, to behold a
thousand Rarities she had never
seen, to live in Splendor, to
eat high, and wear magnificent
Clothes, to be bow’d to as she B7v 14
she pass’d, and have a thoussand
Adorers, to see in time a pretty Offspring,
the products of Love, that
should talk, and look, and delight,
as she did, the Heart of their Parents;
but to all, her Father and
the Lady Abbess could say of the
World, and its Pleasures, Isabella
brought a thousand Reasons and
Arguments, so Pious, so Devout,
that the Abbess was very well pleased,
to find her (purposely weak)
Propositions so well overthrown;
and gives an account of her daily
Discourses to her Brother, which
were no less pleasing to him; and
tho’ Isabella went already dress’d as
richly as her Quality deserv’d, yet
her Father, to try the utmost that
the World’s Vanity could do, upon
her young Heart, orders the most
Glorious Clothes should be bought
her, and that the Lady Abbeß should
suffer her to go abroad with those La- B8r 15
Ladies of Quality, that were her Relations,
and her Mother’s Acquaintance;
that she should visit and go
on the Toore, (that is, the Hide Park
there) that she should see all that
was diverting, to try, whether it
were not for want of Temptation
to Vanity, that made her leave the
World, and love an inclos’d Life.

As the Count had commanded, all
things were performed; and Isabella
arriving at her Thirteenth Year of
Age, and being pretty tall of Stature,
with the finest Shape that
Fancy can create, with all the Adornment
of a perfect brown hair’d
Beauty, Eyes black and lovely,
Complexion fair; to a Miracle, all
her Features of the rarest proportion,
the Mouth red, the Teeth
white, and a thousand Graces in her
Meen and Air; she came no sooner
abroad, but she had a thousand
Persons fighting for love of her; the Re- B8v 16
Reputation her Wit had acquir’d,
got her Adorers without seeing her;
but when they saw her, they found
themselves conquer’d and undone;
all were glad she was come into
the World, of whom they had heard
so much, and all the Youth of the
Town dress’d only for Isabella de
, she rose like a new Star that
Eclips’d all the rest, and which set
the World a gazing. Some hop’d,
and some despair’d, but all lov’d,
while Isabella regarded not their
Eyes, their distant darling Looks of
Love, and their signs of Adoration;
she was civil and affable to all, but
so reserv’d, that none durst tell her
his Passion, or name that strange
and abhorr’d thing, Love, to her;
the Relations, with whom she went
abroad every day, were fein to
force her out, and when she went,
’twas the motive of Civility, and
not Satisfaction, that made her go; what- B9r 17
whatever she saw, she beheld with
no admiration, and nothing created
wonder in her, tho’ never so strange
and Novel. She survey’d all things
with an indifference, that tho’ it
was not sullen, was far from Transport,
so that her evenness of Mind
was infintely admir’d and prais’d.
And now it was, that, young as she
was, her Conduct and Discretion
appear’d equal to her Wit and Beauty,
and she encreas’d daily in Reputation,
insomuch, that the Parents
of abundance of young Noble Men,
made it their business to endeavor
to marry their Sons to so admirable
and noble a Maid, and one, whose
Virtues were the Discourse of all
the World; the Father, the Lady
, and those who had her abroad,
were solicited to make an
Alliance; for the Father, he would
give no answer, but left it to the
discretion of Isabella, who could not B9v 18
not be persuaded to hear any thing
of that nature; so that for a long
time she refus’d her company to all
those, who propos’d any thing of
Marriage to her; she said, she had
seen nothing in the World that was
worth her Care, or the venturing
the losing of Heaven for, and therefore
was resolv’d to dedicate her
self to that; that the more she saw
of the World, the worse she lik’d
it, and pity’d the Wretches that
were condemn’d to it; that she had
consider’d it, and found no one Inclination
that forbad her immediate
Entrance into a Religious Life; to
which, her Father, after using all the
Arguments he could, to make her
take good heed of what she went
about, to consider it well; and had
urg’d all the Inconveniencies of Severe
Life, Watchings, Midnight
Risings in all Weathers and Seasons
to Prayers, hard Lodging, course B10r 19
course Diet, and homely Habit,
with a thousand other things of
Labour and Work us’d among the
Nuns; and finding her still resolv’d
and inflexible to all contrary persuasions,
he consented, kiss’d her, and
told her, She had argu’d according
to the wish of his Soul, and that
he never believ’d himself truly happy,
till this moment that he was
assur’d, she would become a Religious.

This News, to the Heart-breaking
of a thousand Lovers, was spread
all over the Town, and there was
nothing but Songs of Complaint,
and of her retiring, after she had
shewn her self to the World, and
vanquished so many Hearts; all
Wits were at work on this Cruel
Subject, and one begat another, as
is usual in such Affairs. Amongst
the number of these Lovers, there
was a young Gentleman, Nobly born, B10v 20
born, his Name was Villenoys, who
was admirably made, and very
handsom, had travell’d and accomplish’d
himself, as much as was possible
for one so young to do; he
was about Eighteen, and was going
to the Siege of Candia, in a very
good Equipage, but, overtaken by
his Fate, surpris’d in his way to
Glory, he stopt at Ipers, so fell
most passionately in love with this
Maid of Immortal Fame; but being
defeated in his hopes by this
News, was the Man that made the
softest Complaints to this fair Beauty,
and whose violence of Passion
oppress’d him to that degree, that
he was the only Lover, who durst
himself tell her, he was in love with
her; he writ Billets so soft and tender,
that she had, of all her Lovers,
most compassion for Villenoys,
and dain’d several times, in pity of
him, to send him answers to his Letters,ters, B11r 21
but they were such, as absolutely
forbad him to love her; such as
incited him to follow Glory, the
Mistress that could noblest reward
him; and that, for her part, her
Prayers should always be, that he
might be victorious, and the Darling
of that Fortune he was going
to court; and that she, for her part,
had fix’d her Mind on Heaven, and
no Earthly Thought should bring it
down; but she should ever retain
for him all Sisterly Respect, and
begg’d, in her Solitudes, to hear,
whether her Prayers had prov’d effectual
or not, and if Fortune were
so kind to him, as she should perpetually

When Villenoys found she was resolv’d,
he design’d to persue his
Journy, but could not leave the
Town, till he had seen the fatal Ceremony
of Isabella’s being made a
Nun, which was every day expected; and B11v 22
and while he stay’d, he could not
forbear writing daily to her, but
receiv’d no more Answers from her,
she already accusing her self of having
done too much, for a Maid in
her Circumstances; but she confes’d,
of all she had seen, she lik’d
Villenoys the best; and if she ever
could have lov’d, she believ’d it
would have been Villenoys, for he
had all the good Qualities, and
grace, that could render him agreeable
to the Fair; besides, that he was
only Son to a very rich and noble
Parent, and one that might very
well presume to lay claim to a Maid
of Isabella’s Beauty and Fortune.

As the time approach’d, when he
must eternally lose all hope, by Isabella’s
taking Orders, he found himself
less able to bear the Efforts of
that Despair it possess’d him with,
he languish’d with the thought, so
that it was visible to all his Friends, the B12r 23
the decays it wrought on his Beauty
and Gaity: So that he fell at last into
a Feaver; and ’twas the whole
Discourse of the Town, That Villenoys
was dying for the Fair Isabella;
his Relations, being all of Quality,
were extreamly afflicted at his Misfortune,
and joyn’d their Interests
yet to dissuade this fair young Victoress
from an act so cruel, as to inclose
her self in a Nunnery, while
the finest of all the Youths of Quality
was dying for her, and ask’d
her, If it would not be more acceptable
to Heaven to save a Life,
and perhaps a Soul, than to go and
expose her own to a thousand Tortures?
They assur’d her, Villenoys
was dying, and dying Adoring her;
that nothing could save his Life, but
her kind Eyes turn’d upon the fainting
Lover; a Lover, that could
breath nothing, but her Name in
Sighs and find satisfaction in nothing,thing, B12v 24
but weeping, and crying out,
“I dye for Isabella!” This Discourse
fetch’d abundance of Tears from
the fair Eyes of this tender Maid;
but, at the same time, she besought
them to believe, these Tears ought
not to give them hope, she should
ever yield to save his Life, by quitting
her Resolution, of becoming
a Nun; but, on the contrary, they
were Tears, that only bewail’d her
own Misfortune, in having been
the occasion of the death of any
Man, especially, a Man, who
had so many Excellencies, as might
have render’d him entirely Happy
and Glorious for a long race of
Years, had it not been his ill fortune
to have seen her unlucky Face.
She believ’d, it was for her Sins of
Curiousity, and going beyond the
Walls of the Monastery, to wander
after the Vanities of the foolish
World, that had occasion’d this Mis- C1r 25
Misfortune to the young Count of
, and she would put a severe
Penance on her Body, for the Mischiefs
her Eyes had done him; she
fears she might, by somthing in her
looks, have intic’d his Heart, for
she own’d she saw him, with wonder
at his Beauty, and much more
she admir’d him, when she found
the Beauties of his Mind; she confess’d,
she had given him hope, by
answering his Letters; and that when
she found her Heart grow a little
more than usually tender, when she
thought on him, she believ’d it a
Crime, that ought to be check’d by
a Virtue, such as she pretended to
profess, and hop’d she should ever
carry to her Grave; and she desired
his Relations to implore him, in her
Name, to rest contented, in knowing
he was the first, and should be
the last, that should ever make an
Impression on her Heart; that what C she C1v 26
she had conceiv’d there, for him,
should remain with her to her dying
day, and that she besought him to
live, that she might see, he both
deserv’d this Esteem she had for
him, and to repay it her, otherwise
he would dye in her debt, and make
her Life ever after reposeless.

This being all they could get from
her, they return’d with Looks that
told their Message; however, they
render’d those soft things Isabella had
said, in so moving a manner as fail’d
not to please, and while he remain’d
in this condition, the Ceremonies
were compleated, of making Isabella
a Nun; which was a Secret to none
but Villenoys, and from him it was
carefully conceal’d, so that in a little
time he recover’d his lost health,
at least, so well, as to support the
fatal News, and upon the first hearing
it, he made ready his Equipage,
and departed immediately for Candia;dia; C2r 27
where he behav’d himself very
gallantly, under the Command of
the Duke De Beaufort, and, with
him, return’d to France, after the
loss of that noble City to the Turks.

In all the time of his absence, that
he might the sooner establish his Repose,
he forbore sending to the fair
Cruel Nun, and she heard no more
of Villenoys in above two years; so
that giving her self wholly up to
Devotion, there was never seen any
one, who led so Austere and Pious
a Life, as this young Votress; she
was a Saint in the Chapel, and an
Angel at the Grate: She there laid
by all her severe Looks, and mortify’d
Discourse, and being at perfect
peace and tranquillity within, she
was outwardly all gay, sprightly,
and entertaining, being satisfy’d, no
Sights, no Freedoms, could give
any temptations to worldly desires;
she gave a loose to all that was modest,C2 dest, C2v 28
and that Virtue and Honour
would permit, and was the most
charming Conversation that ever
was admir’d; and the whole World
that pass’d through Iper, of Strangers,
came directed and recommended
to the lovely Isabella; I mean,
those of Quality: But however Diverting
she was at the Grate, she
was most exemplary Devout in the
Cloyster, doing more Penance, and
imposing a more rigid Severity and
Task on her self, than was requir’d,
giving such rare Examples to all the
Nuns that were less Devout, that
her Life was a Proverb, and a President,
and when they would express
a very Holy Woman indeed,
they would say, “She was a very

There was in this Nunnery, a
young Nun, call’d Sister Katteriena,
Daughter to the Grave Vanhenault,
that is to say, an Earl, who liv’d about C3r 29
about six Miles from the Town, in a
noble Villa; this Sister Katteriena
was not only a very beautiful Maid,
but very witty, and had all the good
qualities to make her be belov’d,
and had most wonderfully gain’d
upon the Heart of the fair Isabella,
she was her Chamber-Fellow and
Companion in all her Devotions
and Diversions, so that where one
was, there was the other, and they
never went but together to the
Grate, to the Garden, or to any
place, whither their Affairs call’d
either. This young Katteriena had a
Brother, who lov’d her intirely, and
came every day to see her, he was
about twenty Years of Age, rather
tall than middle Statur’d, his Hair
and Eyes brown, but his Face exceeding
beautiful, adorn’d with a
thousand Graces, and the most nobly
and exactly made, that ’twas
possible for Nature to form; to the C3 Fine- C3v 30
Fineness and Charms of his Person,
he had an Air in his Meen and Dressing,
so very agreeable, besides rich,
that ’twas impossible to look on him,
without wishing him happy, because
he did so absolutely merit being
so. His Wit and his Manner was
so perfectly Obliging, a Goodness
and Generosity so Sincere and Gallant,
that it would even have aton’d
for Ugliness. As he was eldest Son
to so great a Father, he was kept at
home, while the rest of his Brothers
were employ’d in Wars abroad;
this made him of a melancholy
Temper, and fit for soft Impressions;
he was very Bookish,
and had the best Tutors that could
be got, for Learning and Languages,
and all that could compleat a
Man; but was unus’d to Action,
and of a temper Lazy and given
to Repose, so that his Father could
hardly ever get him to use any Ex- C4r 31
Exercise, or so much as ride abroad,
which he would call, Losing Time
from his Studies: He car’d not for
the Conversation of Men, because
he lov’d not Debauch, as they usually
did; so that for Exercise, more
than any Design, he came on Horseback
every day to Iper to the Monastery,
and would sit at the Grate,
entertaining his Sister the most part
of the Afternoon, and, in the Evening,
retire; he had often seen and
convers’d with the lovely Isabella,
and found, from the first sight of
her, he had more Esteem for her,
than any other of her Sex: But as
Love very rarely takesBirthtakes Birth without
Hope; so he never believ’d that the
Pleasure he took in beholding her,
& in discoursing with her, was Love,
because he regarded her, as a Thing
consecrate to Heaven, and never so
much as thought to wish, she were
a Mortal fit for his Addresses; yet C4 he C4v 32
he found himself more and more
fill’d with Reflections on her which
was not usual with him; he found
she grew upon his Memory, and
oftener came there, than he us’d to
do, that he lov’d his Studies less,
and going to Iper more; and, that
every time he went, he found a
new Joy at his Heart that pleas’d
him; he found, he could not get
himself from the Grate, without
Pain, nor part from the sight of
that all-charming Object, without
Sighs; and if, while he was there,
any persons came to visit her, whose
Quality she could not refuse the
honour of her sight to, he would
blush, and burn, and pant with
uneasiness, especially, if they were
handsom, and fit to make Impressions:
And he would check this
Uneasiness in himself and ask his
Heart, what it meant, by rising and
beating in those Moments, and strive C5r 33
strive to assume an Indifferency in
vain, and depart dissatisfy’d, and
out of humour.

On the other side, Isabella was
not so Gay as she us’d to be, but,
on the sudden, retir’d her self more
from the Grate than she us’d to do,
refus’d to receive Visits every day,
and her Complexion grew a little
pale and languid; she was observ’d
not to sleep, or eat, as she us’d to
do, nor exercise in those little Plays
they made, and diverted themselves
with, now and then; she was heard
to sigh often, and it became the
Discourse of the whole House, that
she was much alter’d: The Lady
, who lov’d her with a most
tender Passion, was infinitely concern’d
at this Change, and endeavour’d
to find out the Cause, and
’twas generally believ’d, she was
too Devout, for now she redoubled
her Austerity; and in cold C5 Win- C5v 34
Winter Nights, of Frost and Snow,
would be up at all Hours, and lying
upon the cold Stones, before the
Altar, prostrate at Prayers: So that
she receiv’d Orders from the Lady
, not to harass her self so very
much, but to have a care of her
Health, as well as her Soul; but
she regarded not these Admonitions,
tho’ even persuaded daily by
her Katteriena, whom she lov’d
every day more and more.

But, one Night, when they were
retir’d to their Chamber, amongst
a thousand things that they spoke
of, to pass away a tedious Evening,
they talk’d of Pictures and Likenesses,
and Katteriena told Isabella,
that before she was a Nun, in her
more happy days, she was so like
her Brother Bernardo Henault, (who
was the same that visited them every
day) that she would, in Men’s
Clothes, undertake, she should not have C6r 35
have known one from t’other, and
fetching out his Picture, she had in
a Dressing-Box, she shew’d it to
Isabella, who, at the first sight of
it, turns as pale as Ashes, and, being
ready to swound, she bid her take
it away, and could not, for her
Soul, hide the sudden surprise the
Picture brought: Katteriena had
too much Wit, not to make a just
Interpretation of this Change, and
(as a Woman) was naturally curious
to pry farther, tho Discretion
should have made her been silent,
for Talking, in such cases, does but
make the Wound rage the more;
“Why, my dear Sister,” (said Katteriena)
“is the likeneß of my Brother
so offensive to you?”
Isabella found by
this, she had discover’d too much,
and that Thought put her by all
power of excusing it; she was confounded
with Shame, and the more
she strove to hide it, the more it dis- C6v 36
disorder’d her; so that she (blushing
extremely) hung down her
Head, sigh’d, and confess’d all by
her Looks. At last, after a considering
Pause, she cry’d, “My dearest
Sister, I do confeß, I was surpriz’d
at the sight of Monsieur Henault, and
much more than ever you have observ’d
me to be at the sight of his Person, because
there is scarce a day wherein I do
not see that, and know beforehand I
shall see him; I am prepar’d for the
Encounter, and have lessen’d my Concern,
or rather Confusion, by that time
I come to the Grate, so much Mistreß
I am of my Passions, when they give
me warning of their approach, and sure
I can withstand the greatest assaults of
Fate, if I can but foresee it; but if it
surpize me, I find I am as feeble a Woman,
as the most unresolv’d; you did
not tell me, you had this Picture, nor
say, you would shew me such a Picture;
but when I least expect to see that Face, C7r 37
Face, you shew it me, even in my

“Ah, my dear Sister!” (reply’d Katteriena)
“I believe, that Paleness, and
those Blushes, proceed from some other
cause, than the Nicety of seeing the
Picture of a Man in your Chamber”
“You have too much Wit,” (reply’d
Isabella) “to be impos’d on by such an
Excuse, if I were so silly to make it; but
oh! my dear Sister! it was in my
Thoughts to deceive you; could I have
Conceal’d my Pain and Sufferings, you
should never have known them; but
since I find it impossible, and that I am
too sincere to make use of Fraud in any
thing, ’tis fit I tell you, from what
cause my change of Colour proceeds,
and to own to you, I fear, ’tis Love, if
ever therefore, oh gentle pitying Maid!
thou wert a Lover? If ever thy tender
Heart were touch’d with that Passion?
Inform me, oh! inform me, of the
nature of that cruel Disease, and how
thou found’st a Cure?”
While C7v 38

While she was speaking these
words, she threw her Arms about
the Neck of the fair Katteriena, and
bath’d her Bosom (where she hid
her Face) with a shower of Tears:
Katteriena, embracing her with all
the fondness of a dear Lover, told
her, with a Sigh, that she could
deny her nothing, and therefore
confess’d to her, she had been a
Lover, and that was the occasion
of her being made a Nun, her Father
finding out the Intrigue, which
fatally happen’d to be with his own
Page, a Youth of extraordinary
Beauty. “I was but Young,” (said she)
“about Thirteen, and knew not what
to call the new-known Pleasure that I
felt; when e’re I look’d upon the young
Arnaldo, my Heart would heave, when
e’re he came in view, and my disorder’d
Breath came doubly from my
Bosom; a Shivering seiz’d me, and my
Face grew wan; my Thought was at a C8r 39
a stand, and Sense it self, for that
short moment, lost its Faculties: But
when he touch’d me, oh! no hunted
Deer, tir’d with his flight, and just
secur’d in Shades, pants with a nimbler
motion than my Heart; at first, I
thought the Youth had had some Magick
Art, to make one faint and tremble
at his touches; but he himself, when I
accus’d his Cruelty, told me, he had no
Art, but awful Passion, and vow’d,
that when I touch’d him, he was so;
so trembling, so surpriz’d, so charm’d,
so pleas’d. When he was present, nothing
could displease me, but when he
parted from me; then ’twas rather a
soft silent Grief, that eas’d it self by
sighing, and by hoping, that some kind
moment would restore my Joy. When
he was absent, nothing could divert
me, howe’re I strove, howe’re I toyl’d
for Mirth; no Smile, no Joy, dwelt
in my Heart or Eyes; I could not feign,
so very well I lov’d, impatient in his ab- C8v 40
absence, I would count the tedious parting
Hours, and pass them off like useleß
Visitants, whom we wish were gon;
these are the Hours, where Life no busineß
has, at least, a Lover’s Life. But,
oh! what Minutes seem’d the happy
Hours, when on his Eyes I gaz’d, and
he on mine, and half our Conversation
lost in Sighs, Sighs, the soft moving
Language of a Lover!”

“No more, no more,” (reply’d Isabella,
throwing her Arms again
about the Neck of the transported
Katteriena) “thou blow’st my Flame
by thy soft Words, and mak’st me know
my Weakneß, and my Shame: I love!
I love! and feel those differing Passions!”
— Then pausing a moment,
she proceeded, “Yet so didst thou,
but hast surmounted it. Now thou
hast found the Nature of my Pain, oh!
tell me thy saving Remedy?”
(reply’d Katteriena) “tho’ there’s but
one Disease, there’s many Remedies: They C9r 41
They say, Possession’s one, but that to
me seems a Riddle; Absence, they say,
another, and that was mine; for Arnaldo
having by chance lost one of my
Billets, discover’d the Amour, and was
sent to travel, and my self forc’d into
this Monastery, where at last, Time
convinc’d me, I had lov’d below my
Quality, and that sham’d me into Holy
“And is it a Disease,” (reply’d
Isabella) “that People often recover?”
“Most frequently,” (said Katteriena)
“and yet some dye of the Disease,
but very rarely.”
“Nay then,” (said
Isabella) “I fear, you will find me one
of these Martyrs; for I have already
oppos’d it with the most severe Devotion
in the World: But all my Prayers
are vain, your lovely Brother persues
me into the greatest Solitude; he meets
me at my very Midnight Devotions,
and interrupts my Prayers; he gives
me a thousand Thoughts, that ought
not to enter into a Soul dedicated to Hea- C9v 42
Heaven; he ruins all the Glory I have
atchiev’d, even above my Sex, for Piety
of Life, and the Observation of all
Virtues. Oh Katteriena! he has a
Power in his Eyes, that transcends all
the World besides: And, to shew the
weakneß of Human Nature, and how
vain all our Boastings are, he has done
that in one fatal Hour, that the persuasions
of all my Relations and
Friends, Glory, Honour, Pleasure,
and all that can tempt, could not perform
in Years; I resisted all but
Henault’s Eyes, and they were Ordain’d
to make me truly wretched:
But yet with thy Assistance, and a Resolution
to see him no more, and my
perpetual Trust in Heaven, I may,
perhaps, overcome this Tyrant of my
Soul, who, I thought, had never enter’d
into holy Houses, or mix’d his
Devotions and Worship with the true
Religion; but, oh! no Cells, no Cloysters,
no Hermitages, are secur’d from
his Efforts.”
This C10r 43
This Disourse she ended with
abundance of Tears, and it was resolv’d,
since she was devoted for
ever to a Holy Life, That it was
best for her to make it as easy to
her as was possible; in order to it,
and the banishing this fond and
useless Passion from her Heart, it
was very necessary, she should see
Henault no more: At first, Isabella
was afraid, that, in refusing to see
him, he might mistrust her Passion;
but Katteriena, who was both Pious
and Discreet, and endeavour’d truly
to cure her of so violent a Disease,
which must, she knew, either end
in her death or destruction, told her,
She would take care of that matter,
that it should not blemish her Honour;
and so leaving her a while,
after they had resolv’d on this, she
left her in a thousand Confusions,
she was now another Woman than
what she had hitherto been; she was C10v 44
was quite alter’d in every Sentiment,
Thought, and Notion; she
now repented, she had promis’d
not to see Henault; she trembled,
and even fainted, for fear she should
see him no more; she was not able
to bear that thought, it made her
rage within, like one possest, and
all her Virtue could not calm her;
yet since her word was past, and, as
she was, she could not, without
great Scandal, break it in that
point, she resolv’d to dye a thousand
Deaths, rather than not perform
her Promise made to Katteriena;
but ’tis not to be express’d
what she endur’d; what Fits , Pains,
and Convulsions, she sustain’d; and
how much ado she had to dissemble
to Dame Katteriena, who soon return’d
to the afflicted Maid; the
next day, about the time that Henault
was to come, as he usually did,
about two or three a Clock after Noon C11r 45
Noon, ’tis impossible to express the
uneasiness of Isabella; she ask’d,
a thousand times, “What, is not your
Brother come?”
When Dame Katteriena
would reply, “Why do you ask?”
She would say, “Because I would be
sure not to see him.”
“You need not fear,
(reply’d Katteriena) “for
you shall keep your Chamber.”
need not have urg’d that, for Isabella
was very ill without knowing it,
and in a Feaver.

At last, one of the Nuns came
up, and told Dame Katteriena,
that her Brother was at the Grate,
and she desired, he should be
bid come about to the Private
Grate above stairs, which he did,
and she went to him, leaving Isabella
even dead on the Bed, at the very
name of Henault: But the more she
conceal’d her Flame, the more violently
it rag’d, which she strove in
vain by Prayers, and those Recourses of C11v 46
of Solitude to lessen; all this did
but augment the Pain, and was Oyl
to the Fire, so that she now could
hope, that nothing but Death would
put an end to her Griefs, and her
Infamy. She was eternally thinking
on him, how handsome his Face,
how delicate every Feature, how
charming his Air, how graceful his
Meen, how soft and good his Disposition,
and how witty and entertaining
his Conversation. She now
fancy’d, she was at the Grate, talking
to him as she us’d to be, and blest
those happy Hours she past then, and
bewail’d her Misfortune, that she
is no more destin’d to be so Happy,
then gives a loose to Grief; Griefs,
at which, no Mortals, but Despairing
Lovers, can guess, or how tormenting
they are; where the most
easie Moments are, those, wherein
one resolves to kill ones self, and
the happiest Thought is Damnation; but C12r 47
but from these Imaginations, she
endeavours to fly, all frighted with
horror; but, alas! whither would
she fly, but to a Life more full of
horror? She considers well, she cannot
bear Despairing Love, and finds
it impossible to cure her Despair;
she cannot fly from the Thoughts
of the Charming Henault, and ’tis
impossible to quit ’em; and, at this
rate, she found, Life could not long
support it self, but would either
reduce her to Madness, and so render
her an hated Object of Scorn to
the Censuring World, or force her
Hand to commit a Murder upon her
self. This she had found, this she
had well consider’d, nor could her
fervent and continual Prayers, her
nightly Watchings, her Mortifications
on the cold Marble in long
Winter Season, and all her Acts of
Devotion abate one spark of this
shameful Feaver of Love, that was
destroying her within.

When C12v 48

When she had rag’d and struggled
with this unruly Passion, ’till
she was quite tir’d and breathless,
finding all her force in vain, she fill’d
her fancy with a thousand charming
Idea’s of the lovely Henault, and,
in that soft fit, had a mind to satisfy
her panting Heart, and give it one
Joy more, by beholding the Lord
of its Desires, and the Author of
its Pains: Pleas’d, yet trembling, at
this Resolve, she rose from the Bed
where she was laid, and softly advanc’d
to the Stair-Case, from
whence there open’d that Room
where Dame Katteriena was, and
where there was a private Grate, at
which, she was entertaining her
Brother; they were earnest in Discourse,
and so loud, that Isabella
could easily hear all they said, and
the first words were from Katteriena,
who, in a sort of Anger, cry’d,
“Urge me no more! My Virtue is too nice, D1r 49
nice, to become an Advocate for a Passion,
that can tend to nothing but your
Ruin; for, suppose I should tell the fair
Isabella, you dye for her, what can
it avail you? What hope can any Man
have, to move the Heart of a Virgin
so averse to Love? A Virgin, whose
Modesty and Virtue is so very curious,
it would fly the very word, ‘Love’, as
some monstrous Witchcraft, or the
foulest of Sins, who would loath me for
bringing so lewd a Message, and banish
you her Sight, as the Object of her
Hate and Scorn; is it unknown to
you, how many of the noblest Youths
of Flanders have address’d themselves
to her in vain, when yet she was
in the World? Have you been ignorant,
how the young Count De Villenoys
languish’d, in vain, almost to
Death for her? And, that no Persuasions,
no Attractions in him, no worldly
Advantages, or all his Pleadings, who
had a Wit and Spirit capable of prevailingD vailing D1v 50
on any Heart, leß severe and
harsh, than hers? Do you not know, that
all was lost on this insensible fair one,
even when she was a proper Object for
the Adoration of the Young and Amorous?
And you can hope, now she has
so entirely wedded her future days to
Devotion, and given all to Heaven;
nay, lives a Life here more like a
Saint, than a Woman; rather an Angel,
than a mortal Creature? Do you
imagin, with any Rhetorick you can
deliver, now to turn the Heart, and
whole Nature, of this Divine Maid,
to consider your Earthly Passion? No,
’tis fondneß, and an injury to her Virtue,
to harbour such a Thought; quit
it, quit it, my dear Brother! before
it ruin your Repose.”
“Ah, Sister!” (reply’d
the dejected Henault) “your
Counsel comes too late, and your Reasons
are of too feeble force, to rebate
those Arrows, the Charming Isabella’s
Eyes have fix’d in my Heart and Soul; D2r 51
Soul; and I am undone, unleß she
know my Pain, which I shall dye, before
I shall ever dare mention to her;
but you, young Maids, have a thousand
Familiarities together, can jest, and
play, and say a thousand things between
Railery and Earnest, that may
first hint what you would deliver, and
insinuate into each others Hearts a
kind of Curiosity to know more; for
naturally, (my dear Sister) Maids, are
curious and vain; and however Divine
the Mind of the fair Isabella
may be, it bears the Tincture still of
Mortal Woman.”

“Suppose this true, how could this
Mortal part about her Advantage you,”

(said Katteriena) “all that you can
expect from this Discovery, (if she
should be content to hear it, and to return
you pity) would be, to make her
wretched, like your self? What farther
can you hope?”
“Oh! talk not” (reply’d
Henault) “of so much Happineß! I D2 do D2v 52
do not expect to be so blest, that she
should pity me, or love to a degree of
Inquietude; ’tis sufficient, for the ease
of my Heart, that she know its Pains
and what it suffers for her; that she
would give my Eyes leave to gaze upon
her, and my Heart to vent a Sigh now
and then; and, when I dare, to give
me leave to speak, and tell her of my
Passion: This, this, is all, my Sister.”

And, at that word, the Tears glided
down his Cheeks, and he declin’d
his Eyes, and set a Look so charming,
and so sad, that Isabella, whose
Eyes were fix’d upon him, was a
thousand times ready to throw her
self into the Room, and to have
made a Confession, how sensible
she was of all she had heard and
seen: But, with much ado, she contain’d
and satisfy’d her self, with
knowing, that she was ador’d by
him whom she ador’d, and, with a
Prudence that is natural to her, she with- D3r 53
withdrew, and waited with patience
the event of their Discourse.
She impatiently long’d to know,
how Katteriena would manage this
Secret her Brother had given her,
and was pleas’d, that the Friendship
and Prudence of that Maid
had conceal’d her Passion from her
Brother; and now contented and
joyful beyond imagination, to find
her self belov’d, she knew she could
dissemble her own Passion, and make
him the first Aggressor; the first that
lov’d, or, at least, that should seem
to do so. This Thought restores
her so great a part of her Peace of
Mind, that she resolv’d to see him,
and to dissemble with Katteriena so
far, as to make her believe, she had
subdu’d that Passion, she was really
asham’d to own; she now, with her
Woman’s Skill, begins to practise
an Art she never before understood,
and has recourse to Cunning, and D3 re- D3v 54
resolves to seem to reassume her former
Repose: But hearing Katteriena
approach, she laid her self
again on her Bed, where she had
left her, but compos’d her Face to
more chearfulness, and put on a
Resolution that indeed deceiv’d
the Sister, who was extreamly pleased,
she said, to see her look so well:
When Isabella reply’d, “Yes, I am
another Woman now; I hope Heaven
has heard, and granted, my long
and humble Supplications, and driven
from my Heart this tormenting God,
that has so long disturb’d my purer
“And are you sure,” (said
Dame Katteriena “that this wanton
Deity is repell’d by the noble force of
your Resolution? Is he never to return?”
“No,” (reply’d Isabella) “never
to my Heart.”
“Yes,” (said Katteriena)
“if you should see the lovely Murderer of
your Repose, your Wound would bleed
At this, Isabella smiling with a D4r 55
a little Disdain, reply’d, “Because you
once to love, and Henault’s Charms
defenceleß found me, ah! do you
think, I have no Fortitude? But so in
Fondneß lost, remiß in Virtue, that
when I have resolv’d, (and see it necessary
for my after-Quiet) to want
the power of keeping that Resolution?
No, scorn me, and despise me then, as
lost to all the Glories of my Sex, and
all the Nicety I’ve hitherto preserv’d.”

There needed no more from a Maid
of Isabella’s Integrity and Reputation,
to convince any one of the
Sincerity of what she said, since, in
the whole course of her Life, she
never could be charg’d with an Untruth,
or an Equivocation; and
Katteriena assur’d her, she believ’d
her, and was infinitely glad she had
vanquish’d a Passion, that would
have prov’d destructive to her Repose:
Isabella reply’d, She had not
altogether vanquish’d her Passion, D4 she D4v 56
she did not boast of so absolute a
power over her soft Nature, but
had resolv’d things great, and Time
would work the Cure; that she
hop’d, Katteriena would make such
Excuses to her Brother, for her not
appearing at the Grate so gay and
entertaining as she us’d, and, by a
little absence, she should retrieve
the Liberty she had lost: But she
desir’d, such Excuses might be made
for her, that young Henault might
not perceive the Reason. At the
naming him, she had much ado not
to shew some Concern extraordinary,
and Katteriena assur’d her, She
had now a very good Excuse to keep
from the Grate, when he was at it;
“For” (said she) “now you have resolv’d,
I may tell you, he is dying for you, raving
in Love, and has this day made
me promise to him, to give you some
account of his Passion, and to make
you sensible of his Languishment: I had D5r 57
had not told you this,”
(reply’d Kateriena
“but that I believe you fortify’d
with brave Resolution and Virtue, and
that this knowledge will rather put you
more upon your Guard, than you were
While she spoke, she fix’d
her Eyes on Isabella, to see what alteration
it would make in her Heart
and Looks; but the Master-piece of
this young Maid’s Art was shewn
in this minute, for she commanded
her self so well, that her very Looks
dissembled, and shew’d no concern
at a Relation, that made her Soul
dance with Joy; but it was, what
she was prepar’d for, or else I question
her Fortitude. But, with a
Calmness, which absolutely subdu’d
Katteriena, she reply’d, “I am almost
glad he has confeß’d a Passion for me,
and you shall confeß to him, you told
me of it, and that I absent my self
from the Grate, on purpose to avoid
the sight of a Man, who durst love D5 me, D5v 58
me, and confeß it; and I assure you,
my dear Sister!”
(continu’d she, dissembling)
“You could not have advanc’d
my Cure by a more effectual way,
than telling me of his Presumption.”

At that word, Katteriena joyfully
related to her all that had pass’d between
young Henault and her self,
and how he implor’d her Aid in this
Amour; at the end of which Relation,
Isabella smil’d, and carelesly
reply’d, “I pity him:” And so going
to their Devotion, they had no more
Discourse of the Lover.

In the mean time, young Henault
was a little satisfy’d, to know, his
Sister would discover his Passion to
the lovely Isabella; and though he
dreaded the return, he was pleas’d
that she should know, she had a
Lover that ador’d her, though
even without hope; for though the
thought of possessing Isabella, was
the most ravishing that could be; yet D6r 59
yet he had dread upon him, when
he thought of it, for he could not
hope to accomplish that, without
Sacrilege; and he was a young Man,
very Devout, and even bigotted in
Religion; and would often question
and debate within himself, that,
if it were possible, he should come
to be belov’d by this Fair Creature,
and that it were possible for her, to
grant all that Youth in Love could
require, whether he should receive
the Blessing offer’d? And though
he ador’d the Maid, whether he
should not abhor the Nun in his
Embraces? ’Twas an undetermin’d
Thought, that chill’d his Fire as
often as it approach’d; but he had
too many that rekindled it again
with the greater Flame and Ardor.

His impatience to know, what
Success Katteriena had, with the
Relation she was to make to Isabella in D6v 60
in his behalf, brought him early to
Iper the next day. He came again
to the private Grate, where his Sister
receiving him, and finding him, with
a sad and dejected Look, expect
what she had to say; she told him,
That Look well became the News
she had for him, it being such, as
ought to make him, both Griev’d,
and Penitent; for, to obey him,
she had so absolutely displeas’d Isabella,
that she was resolv’d never to
believe her her Friend more, “Or, to
see you,”
(said she) “therefore, as you
have made me commit a Crime against
my Conscience, against my Order, against
my Friendship, and against my
Honour, you ought to do some brave
thing; take some noble Resolution,
worthy of your Courage, to redeem
all; for your Repose, I promis’d, I
would let Isabella know you lov’d, and,
for the mitigation of my Crime, you
ought to let me tell her, you have surmountedmounted D7r 61
your Passion, as the last Remedy
of Life and Fame.”

At these her last words, the Tears
gush’d from his Eyes, and he was able
only, a good while, to sigh; at last,
cry’d, What! see her no more! see the
Charming Isabella no more!”
And then
vented the Grief of his Soul in so passionate
a manner, as his Sister had all
the Compassion imaginable for him,
but thought it great Sin and Indiscretion
to cherish his Flame: So
that, after a while, having heard
her Counsel, he reply’d, “And is this
all, my Sister, you will do to save a
“All!” (reply’d she) “I would
not be the occasion of making a Nun
violate her Vow, to save a Brother’s
Life, no, nor my own; assure your
self of this, and take it as my last
Resolution: Therefore, if you will be
content with the Friendship of this
young Lady, and so behave your self,
that we may find no longer the Lover in D7v 62
in the Friend, we shall reassume our
former Conversation, and live with
you, as we ought; otherwise, your Presence
will continually banish her from
the Grate, and, in time, make both
her you love, and your self, a Town-

Much more to this purpose she
said, to dissuade him, and bid him
retire, and keep himself from thence,
till he could resolve to visit them
without a Crime; and she protested,
if he did not do this, and
master his foolish Passion, she would
let her Father understand his Conduct,
who was a Man of a temper
so very precise, that should he believe,
his Son should have a thought
of Love to a Virgin vow’d to Heaven,
he would abandon him to
Shame, and eternal Poverty, by
disinheriting him of all he could:
Therefore, she said, he ought to lay
all this to his Heart, and weigh it with D8r 63
with his unheedy Passion. While
the Sister talk’d thus wisely, Henault
was not without his Thoughts, but
consider’d as she spoke, but did not
consider in the right place; he was
not considering, how to please a Father,
and save an Estate, but how
to manage the matter so, to establish
himself, as he was before with
Isabella; for he imagin’d, since already
she knew his Passion, and
that if after that she would be prevail’d
with to see him, he might,
some lucky Minute or other, have
the pleasure of speaking for himself,
at least, he should again see
and talk to her, which was a joyful
Thought in the midst of so many
dreadful ones: And, as if he had
known what pass’d in Isabella’s
Heart, he, by a strange sympathy,
took the same measures to deceive
Katteriena, a well-meaning young
Lady, and easily impos’d on from her D8v 64
her own Innocence, he resolv’d to
dissemble Patience, since he must
have that Virtue, and own’d, his
Sister’s Reasons were just, and ought
to be persu’d; that she had argu’d
him into half his Peace, and that
he would endeavour to recover the
rest; that Youth ought to be pardon’d
a thousand Failings, and Years
would reduce him to a condition of
laughing at his Follies of Youth, but
that grave Direction was not yet
arriv’d: And so desiring, she would
pray for his Conversion, and that
she would recommend him to the
Devotions of the Fair Isabella, he
took his leave, and came no more
to the Nunnery in ten Days; in all
which time, none but Impatient
Lovers can guess, what Pain and
Languishments Isabella suffer’d, not
knowing the Cause of his Absence,
nor daring to enquire; but she bore
it out so admirably, that Dame Kat- D9r 65
never so much as suspected,
she had any Thoughts of that
nature that perplex’d her, and now
believ’d indeed, she had conquer’d
all her Uneasiness: And, one day,
when Isabella and she were alone
together, she ask’d that fair Dissembler,
if she did not admire at the
Conduct and Resolution of her
Brother? “Why!” (reply’d Isabella
unconcernedly, while her Heart was
fainting within, for fear of ill News:)
With that, Katteriena told her the
last Discourse she had with her Brother,
and how at last she had persuaded
him (for her sake) to quit
his Passion; and that he had promis’d,
he would endeavour to surmount
it; and that, that was the
reason he was absent now, and they
were to see him no more, till he had
made a Conquest over himself. You
may assure your self, this News was
not so welcom to Isabella, as Katterienariena D9v 66
imagin’d; yet still she dissembled,
with a force, beyond what
the most cunning Practitioner could
have shewn, and carry’d her self
before People, as if no Pressures
had lain upon her Heart; but when
alone retir’d, in order to her Devotion,
she would vent her Griefs
in the most deplorable manner, that
a distress’d distracted Maid could
do, and which, in spite of all her
severe Penances, she found no abatement

At last, Henault came again to
the Monastery, and, with a Look
as gay as he could possibly assume,
he saw his Sister, and told her, He
had gain’d an absolute Victory over
his Heart; and desir’d, he might see
Isabella, only to convince, both her,
and Katteriena, that he was no longer
a Lover of that fair Creature,
that had so lately charm’d him; that
he had set Five thousand Pounds a Year, D10r 67
Year, against a fruitless Passion, and
found the solid Gold much the heavier
in Scale: and he smil’d,
and talk’d the whole Day of indifferent
things, with his Sister, and
ask’d no more for Isabella; nor did
Isabella look, or ask, after him, but
in her Heart. Two Months pass’d
in this Indifference, till it was taken
notice of, that Sister Isabella came
not to the Grate, when Henault was
there, as she us’d to do; this being
spoken to Dame Katteriena, she told
it to Isabella, and said, “The Nuns
would believe, there was some Cause
for her Absence, if she did not appear
That if she could trust her
Heart, she was sure she could trust
her Brother, for he thought no more
of her, she was confident; this, in
lieu of pleasing, was a Dagger to
the Heart of Isabella, who thought
it time to retrieve the flying Lover,
and therefore told Katteriena, She would D10v 68
would the next Day entertain at the
Low Grate, as she was wont to do,
and accordingly, as soon as any
People of Quality came, she appear’d
there, where she had not
been two Minutes, but she saw the
lovely Henault, and it was well for
both, that People were in the Room,
they had else both sufficiently discover’d
their Inclinations, or rather
their not to be conceal’d Passions;
after the General Conversation was
over, by the going away of the
Gentlemen that were at the Grate,
Katteriena being employ’d elsewhere,
Isabella was at last left alone
with Henault; but who can guess
the Confusion of these two Lovers,
who wish’d, yet fear’d, to know
each others Thoughts? She trembling
with a dismal Apprehension,
that he lov’d no more; and he almost
dying with fear, she should
Reproach or Upbraid him with his Pre- D11r 69
Presumption; so that both being
possess’d with equal Sentiments of
Love, Fear, and Shame, they both
stood fix’d with dejected Looks and
Hearts, that heav’d with stifled
Sighs. At last, Isabella, the softer
and tender-hearted of the two, tho’
not the most a Lover perhaps, not
being able to contain her Love any
longer withingwithin the bounds of Dissimulation
or Discretion, being by
Nature innocent, burst out into
Tears, and all fainting with pressing
Thoughts within, she fell languishly
into a Chair that stood
there, while the distracted Henault,
who could not come to her Assistance,
and finding Marks of Love,
rather than Anger or Disdain, in
that Confusion of Isabella’s, throwing
himself on his Knees at the
Grate, implor’d her to behold him,
to hear him, and to pardon him, who
dy’d every moment for her, and who D11v 70
who ador’d her with a violent Ardor;
but yet, with such an one, as
should (tho’ he perish’d with it)
be conformable to her Commands;
and as he spoke, the Tears stream’d
down his dying Eyes, that beheld
her with all the tender Regard that
ever Lover was capable of; she recover’d
a little, and turn’d her too
beautiful Face to him, and pierc’d
him with a Look, that darted a
thousand Joys and Flames into his
Heart, with Eyes, that told him,
her Heart was burning and dying
for him; for which Assurances, he
made Ten thousand Asseverations
of his never-dying Passion, and expressing
as many Raptures and Excesses
of Joy, to find her Eyes and
Looks confess, he was not odious to
her, and that the knowledge he was
her Lover, did not make her hate
him: In fine, he spoke so many
things all soft and moving, and so well D12r 71
well convinc’d her of his Passion,
that she at last was compell’d by a
mighty force, absolutely irresistible,
to speak.

“Sir,” (said she) “perhaps you will
wonder, where I, a Maid, brought up
in the simplicity of Virtue, should
learn the Confidence, not only to hear
of Love from you, but to confeß I am
sensible of the most violent of its Pain
my self; and I wonder, and am amazed
at my own Daring, that I should
have the Courage, rather to speak,
than dye, and bury it in silence; but
such is my Fate. Hurried by an unknown
Force, which I have endeavoured
always, in vain, to resist, I am
compell’d to tell you, I love you, and
have done so from the first moment I
saw you; and you are the only Man
born to give me Life or Death, to make
me Happy or Blest; perhaps, had I not
been confin’d, and, as it were, utterly
forbid by my Vow, as well as my Modesty,desty, D12v 72
to tell you this, I should not
have been so miserable to have fallen
thus low, as to have confess’d my
Shame; but our opportunities of Speaking
are so few, and Letters so impossible
to be sent without discovery, that
perhaps this is the only time I shall ever
have to speak with you alone.”
at that word, the Tears flow’d abundantly
from her Eyes, and gave
Henault leave to speak. “Ah Madam!”
(said he) “do not, as soon as
you have rais’d me to the greatest
Happineß in the World, throw me
with one word beneath your Scorn,
much easier ’tis to dye, and know I
am lov’d, than never, never, hope to
hear that blessed Sound again from
that beautiful Mouth: Ah, Madam!
rather let me make use of this one opportunity
our happy Luck has given us,
and contrive how we may for ever see,
and speak, to each other; let us assure
one another, there are a thousand ways to E1r 73
to escape a place so rigid, as denies us
that Happineß; and denies the fairest
Maid in the World, the privilege of
her Creation, and the end to which she
was form’d so Angelical.”
And seeing
Isabella was going to speak, lest she
should say something, that might
dissuade from an Attempt so dangerous
and wicked, he persu’d to tell
her, it might be indeed the last moment
Heaven would give ’em, and
besought her to answer him what he
implor’d, whether she would fly
with him from the Monastery? At
this Word, she grew pale, and
started, as at some dreadful Sound,
and cry’d, “Hah! what is’t you say?
Is it possible, you should propose a thing
so wicked? And can it enter into your
Imagination, because I have so far
forgot my Virtue, and my Vow, to become
a Lover, I should therefore fall to
so wretched a degree of Infamy and
Reprobation? No, name it to me no E more, E1v 74
more, if you would see me; and if it
be as you say, a Pleasure to be belov’d
by me; for I will sooner dye, than yield
to what ― Alas! I but too well
These last words, she
spoke with a fainting Tone, and
the Tears fell anew from her fair
soft Eyes. “If it be so,” said he,
(with a Voice so languishing, it
could scarce be heard) “If it be so,
and that you are resolv’d to try, if my
Love be eternal without Hope, without
expectation of any other Joy, than
seeing and adoring you through the
Grate; I am, and must; and will be
contented, and you shall see, I can prefer
the Sighing to these cold Irons, that
separate us, before all the Possessions
of the rest of the World; that I chuse
rather to lead my Life here, at this
cruel Distance from you, for ever, than
before the Embrace of all the Fair;
and you shall see, how pleas’d I will be,
to languish here; but as you see me decay, E2r 75
decay, (for surely so I shall) do not
triumph o’re my languid Looks, and
laugh at my Pale and meager Face;
but, Pitying, say, ‘How easily I might
have preserv’d that Face, those Eyes,
and all that Youth and Vigour, now no
more, from this total Ruine I now behold
it in’
, and love your Slave that
dyes, and will be daily and visibly dying,
as long as my Eyes can gaze on
that fair Object, and my Soul be fed
and kept alive with her Charming Wit
and Conversation; if Love can live
on such Airy Food, (tho’ rich in it
self, yet unfit, alone, to sustain Life)
it shall be for ever dedicated to the
lovely Isabella: But, oh! that time
cannot be long; Fate will not lend
her Slave many days, who loves
too violently, to be satisfy’d to enjoy
the fair Object of his Desires, no otherwise
than at a Grate.”

He ceas’d speaking, for Sighs and
Tears stopt his Voice, and he begg’d E2 the E2v 76
the liberty to sit down; and his
Looks being quite alter’d, Isabella
found her self touch’d to the very
Soul, with a concern the most tender,
that ever yielding Maid was
oppress’d with: She had no power
to suffer him to Languish, while
she by one soft word could restore
him, and being about to say a thousand
things that would have been
agreable to him, she saw her self
approach’d by some of the Nuns,
and only had time to say, “If you
love me, live and hope.”
The rest of
the Nuns began to ask Henault of
News, for he always brought them
all that was Novel in the Town, and
they were glad still of his Visits,
above all other, for they heard, how
all the Amours and Intrigues pass’d in
the World, by this young Cavalier.
These last words of Isabella’s were
a Cordial to his Soul, and he, from
that, and to conceal the present Affair, E3r 77
Affair, endeavour’d to assume all
the Gaity he could, and told ’em
all he could either remember, or
invent, to please ’em, tho’ he wish’d
them a great way off at that time.

Thus they passd the day, till it
was a decent hour for him to quit
the Grate, and for them to draw
the Curtain; all that Night did Isabella
dedicate to Love, she went to
Bed, with a Resolution, to think
over all she had to do, and to consider,
how she should manage this
great Affair of her Life: I have already
said, she had try’d all that was
possible in Human Strength to perform,
in the design of quitting a
Passion so injurious to her Honour
and Virtue, and found no means
possible to accomplish it: She had
try’d Fasting long, Praying fervently,
rigid Penances and Pains, severe
Disciplines, all the Mortification,
almost to the destruction of Life it E3 self, E3v 78
self, to conquer the unruly Flame;
but still it burnt and rag’d but the
more; so, at last, she was forc’d to
permit that to conquer her, she
could not conquer, and submitted
to her Fate, as a thing destin’d her
by Heaven it self; and, after all this
opposition, she fancy’d it was resisting
even Divine Providence, to
struggle any longer with her Heart;
and this being her real Belief, she
the more patiently gave way to all
the Thoughts that pleas’d her.

As soon as she was laid, without
discoursing (as she us’d to do) to
Katteriena, after they were in Bed,
she pretended to be sleepy, and
turning from her, setled her self
to profound Thinking, and was resolv’d
to conclude the Matter, between
her Heart, and her Vow of
Devotion, that Night, that she,
having no more to determine, might
end the Affair accordingly, the first op- E4r 79
opportunity she should have to
speak to Henault, which was, to fly,
and marry him; or, to remain for
ever fix’d to her Vow of Chastity.
This was the Debate; she brings
Reason on both sides: Against the
first, she sets the Shame of a Violated
, and considers, where she
shall shew her Face after such an
Action; to the Vow, she argues,
that she was born in Sin, and could
not live without it; that she was
Human, and no Angel, and that,
possibly, that Sin might be as soon
forgiven, as another; that since all
her Devout Endeavours could not
defend her from the Cause, Heaven
ought to excuse the Effect; that as
to shewing her Face, so she saw that
of Henault always turn’d (Charming
as it was) towards her with
love; what had she to do with the
World, or car’d to behold any

E4 Some E4v 80

Some times, she thought, it would
be more Brave and Pious to dye,
than to break her Vow; but she
soon answer’d that, as false Arguing,
for Self-Murder was the worst of
Sins, and in the Deadly Number.
She could, after such an Action, live
to repent, and, of two Evils, she
ought to chuse the least; she dreads
to think, since she had so great a
Reputation for Virtue and Piety,
both in the Monastery, and in the
World, what they both would say,
when she should commit an Action
so contrary to both these, she profest;
but, after a whole Night’s Debate,
Love was the strongest, and gain’d the
Victory. She never went about to
think, how she should escape, because
she knew it would be easy,
the keeping of the Key of the Monastery,
often intrusted in her keeping,
and was, by turns, in the hands
of many more, whose Virtue and Dis- E5r 81
Discretion was Infallible, and out
of Doubt; besides, her Aunt being
the Lady Abbeß, she had greater
Privilege than the rest; so that she
had no more to do, she thought, than
to acquaint Henault with her Design,
as soon as she should get an opportunity.
Which was not quickly;
but, in the mean time, Isabella’s
Father dy’d, which put some little
stop to our Lover’s Happiness, and
gave her a short time of Grief; but
Love, who, while he is new and
young, can do us Miracles, soon
wip’d her Eyes, and chas’d away
all Sorrow from her Heart, and
grew every day more and more impatient,
to put her new Design in
Execution, being every day more
resolv’d. Her Father’s Death had
remov’d one Obstacle, and secur’d
her from his Reproaches; and now
she only wants Opportunity, first,
to acquaint Henault, and then to fly.

E5 She E5v 82

She waited not long, all things
concurring to her desire; for Katteriena
falling sick, she had the good
luck, as she call’d it then, to entertain
Henault at the Grate oftentimes
alone; the first moment she did so,
she entertain’d him with the good
News, and told him, She had at
last vanquish’d her Heart in favour
of him, and loving him above all
things, Honour, her Vow or Reputation,
had resolv’d to abandon her
self wholly to him, to give her self
up to love and serve him, and that
she had no other Consideration in
the World; but Henault, instead
of returning her an Answer, all
Joy and Satisfaction, held down
his Eyes, and Sighing, with a dejected
Look, he cry’d, “Ah, Madam!
Pity a Man so wretched and undone,
as not to be sensible of this Blessing as
I ought.”
She grew pale at this
Reply, and trembling, expected he E6r 83
he would proceed: “’Tis not” (continued
he) “that I want Love, tenderest
Passion, and all the desire Youth
and Love can inspire: But, Oh,
Madam! when I consider, (for raving
mad in Love as I am for your sake, I
do consider) that if I should take you
from this Repose, Nobly Born and
Educated, as you are; and, for that
Act, should find a rigid Father deprive
me of all that ought to support
you, and afford your Birth, Beauty,
and Merits, their due, what would
you say? How would you Reproach
He sighing, expected her Answer,
when Blushes overspreading
her Face, she reply’d, in a Tone
all haughty and angry, “Ah, Henault!
Am I then refus’d, after having
abandon’d all things for you? Is it
thus, you reward my Sacrific’d Honour,
Vows, and Virtue? Cannot you hazard
the loß of Fortune to possIsabella,
who loses all for you!”
Then burst- E6v 84
bursting into Tears, at her misfortune
of Loving, she suffer’d him
to say, “Oh, Charming fair one! how
industrious is your Cruelty, to find out
new Torments for an Heart, already
press’d down with the severities of
Love? Is it possible, you can make so
unhappy a Construction of the tenderest
part of my Passion? And can you
imagin it want of Love in me, to consider,
how I shall preserve and merit
the vast Blessing Heaven has given me?
Is my Care a Crime? And, would not
the most deserving Beauty of the World
hate me, if I should, to preserve my
Life, and satisfy the Passion of my
fond Heart, reduce her to the Extremities
of Want and Misery? And is
there any thing, in what I have said,
but what you ought to take for the greatest
Respect and tenderneß!”
“Alas!” (reply’d
Isabella sighing) “young as I am,
all unskilful in Love I find, but what
I feel, that DiserctionDiscretion is no part of it; and E7r 85
and Consideration, inconsistent with
the Nobler Passion, who will subsist of
its own Nature, and love unmix’d
with any other Sentiment? And ’tis
not pure, if it be otherwise: I know,
had I mix’d Discretion with mine, my
Love must have been leß, I never
thought of living, but by Love; and,
if I consider’d at all, it was, that
Grandure and Magnificence were useleß
Trifles to Lovers, wholly needleß
and troublesom, I thought of living in
some loanly Cottage, far from the noise
of crowded busie Cities, to walk with
thee in Groves, and silent Shades,
where I might hear no Voice but thine;
and when we had been tir’d, to sit us
down by some cool murmering Rivulet,
and be to each a World, my Monarch
thou, and I thy Sovereign Queen,
while Wreaths of Flowers shall crown
our happy Heads, some fragrant Bank
our Throne, and Heaven our Canopy;
Thus we might laugh at Fortune, and the E7v 86
the Proud, despise the duller World,
who place their Joys in mighty Shew
and Equipage. Alas! my Nature could
not bear it, I am unus’d to Worldly
Vanities, and would boast of nothing,
but my Henault; no Riches, but his
Love; no Grandure, but his Presence.”

She ended speaking, with Tears, and
he reply’d, “Now, now, I find, my Isabella
loves indeed, when she’s content
to abandon the World for my sake;
Oh! thou hast wanted the only happy
Life that suits my quiet Nature, to be
retir’d, has always been my Joy! But
to be so with thee! Oh! thou hast
charm’d me with a Thought so dear,
as has for ever banish’d all my Care,
but how to receive thy Goodneß! I’le
think no more what my angry Parent
may do, when he shall hear, how I have
dispos’d of my self against his Will
and Pleasure, but trust to Love and
Providence; no more! be gone all
Thoughts, but those of Isabella!”
As E8r 87
As soon as he had made an end of
expressing his Joy, he fell to consulting
how, and when, she should
escape; and since it was uncertain,
when she should be offer’d the Key,
for she would not ask for it, she resolv’d
to give him notice, either by
word of Mouth, or a bit of Paper
she would write in, and give him
through the Grate the first opportunity,
and, parting for that time,
they both resolv’d to get up what
was possible for their Support, till
Time shauldshould reconcile Affairs and
Friends, and to wait the happy hour.

Isabella’s dead Mother had left
Jewels, of the value of 2000 l. to
her Daughter, at her Decease, which
Jewels were in the possession, now,
of the Lady Abbeß, and were upon
Sale, to be added to the Revenue of
the Monastery; and as Isabella was
the most Prudent of her Sex, at
least, had hitherto been so esteem’d, she E8v 88
she was intrusted with all that was in
possession of the Lady Abbeß, and
’twas not difficult to make her self
Mistress of all her own Jewels; as
also, some 3 or 400 l. in Gold, that
was hoarded up in her Ladiship’s
Cabinet, against any Accidents that
might arrive to the Monastery; these
Isabella also made her own, and put
up with the Jewels; and having acquainted
Henault, with the Day and
Hour of her Escape, he got together
what he could, and waiting
for her, with his Coach, one Night,
when no body was awake but her
self, when rising softly, as she us’d
to do, in the Night, to her Devotion,
she stole so dexterously out
of the Monastery, as no body knew
any thing of it; she carry’d away
the Keys with her, after having
lock’d all the Doors, for she was
intrusted often with all. She found
Henault waiting in his Coach, and trust- E9r 89
trusted none but an honest Coachman
that lov’d him; he receiv’d her
with all the Transports of a truly
ravish’d Lover, and she was infinitely
charm’d with the new Pleasure
of his Embraces and Kisses.

They drove out of Town immediately,
and because she durst not
be seen in that Habit, (for it had
been immediate Death for both)
they drove into a Thicket some
three Miles from the Town, where
Henault having brought her some of
his younger Sister’s Clothes, he
made her put off her Habit, and
put on those; and, rending the
other, they hid them in a Sand-pit,
cover’d over with Broom, and went
that Night forty Miles from Iper, to
a little Town upon the River Rhine,
where, changing their Names, they
were forthwith married, and took
a House in a Country Village, a
Farm, where they resolv’d to live re- E9v 90
retir’d, by the Name of Beroone,
and drove a Farming Trade; however,
not forgetting to set Friends
and Engines at work, to get their
Pardon, as Criminals, first, that had
transgress’d the Law; and, next, as
disobedient Persons, who had done
contrary to the Will and Desire of
their Parents: Isabella writ to her
Aunt the most moving Letters in
the World, so did Henault to his Father;
but she was a long time, before
she could gain so much as an answer
from her Aunt, and Henault was so
unhappy, as never to gain one from
his Father; who no sooner heard the
News that was spread over all the
Town & Country, that young Henault
was fled with the so fam’d Isabella, a
Nun, and singular for Devotion and
Piety of Life, but he immediately
setled his Estate on his younger Son,
cutting Henault off all his Birthright,
which was 5000 l. a Year. This E10r 91
This News, you may believe, was
not very pleasing to the young
Man, who tho’ in possession of the
loveliest Virgin, and now Wife, that
ever Man was bless’d with; yet
when he reflected, he should have
Children by her, and these and she
should come to want, (he having
been magnificently Educated, and
impatient of scanty Fortune) he
laid it to Heart, and it gave him a
thousand Uneasinesses in the midst
of unspeakable Joys; and the more
he strove to hide his Sentiments
from Isabella, the more tormenting
it was within; he durst not name it
to her, so insuperable a Grief it
would cause in her, to hear him
complain; and tho’ she could live
hardly, as being bred to a devout
and severe Life, he could not, but
must let the Man of Quality shew
it self, even in the disguise of an
humbler Farmer: Besides all this, he E10v 92
he found nothing of his Industry
thrive, his Cattel still dy’d in the
midst of those that were in full Vigour
and Health of other Peoples;
his Crops of Wheat and Barly, and
other Grain, tho’ manag’d by able
and knowing Husbandmen, were
all, either Mildew’d, or Blasted,
or some Misfortune still arriv’d to
him; his Coach-Horses would fight
and kill one another, his Barns sometimes
be fir’d; so that it became a
Proverb all over the Country, if
any ill Luck had arriv’d to any
body, they would say, “They had
Monsieur Beroone’s Luck.”
All these
Reflections did but add to his Melancholy,
and he grew at last to be
in some want, insomuch, that Isabella,
who had by her frequent Letters,
and submissive Supplications,
to her Aunt, (who lov’d her tenderly)
obtain’d her Pardon, and
her Blessing; she now press’d her for E11r 93
for some Money, and besought her
to consider, how great a Fortune
she had brought to the Monastery,
and implor’d, she would allow her
some Sallary out of it, for she had
been marry’d two Years, and most
of what she had was exhausted.
The Aunt, who found, that what
was done, could not be undone,
did, from time to time, supply her
so, as one might have liv’d very
decently on that very Revenue;
but that would not satisfy the great
Heart of Henault. He was now
about three and twenty Years old,
and Isabella about eighteen, too
young, and too lovely a Pair, to
begin their Misfortunes so soon;
they were both the most Just and
Pious in the World; they were Examples
of Goodness, and Eminent
for Holy Living, and for perfect
Loving, and yet nothing thriv’d
they undertook; they had no Children,dren, E11v 94
and all their Joy was in each
other; at last, one good Fortune
arriv’d to them, by the Solicitations
of the Lady Abbeß, and the
Bishop, who was her near Kinsman,
they got a Pardon for Isabella’s quitting
the Monastery, and marrying,
so that she might now return to her
own Country again. Henault having
also his Pardon, they immediately
quit the place, where they
had remain’d for two Years, and
came again into Flanders, hoping,
the change of place might afford
’em better Luck.

Henault then began again to solicit
his Cruel Father, but nothing
would do, he refus’d to see him, or
to receive any Letters from him;
but, at last, he prevail’d so far with
him, as that he sent a Kinsman
to him, to assure him, if he would
leave his Wife, and go into the
French Campagn, he would Equip him E12r 95
him as well as his Quality requir’d,
and that, according as he behav’d
himself, he should gain his Favour;
but if he liv’d Idly at home, giving
up his Youth and Glory to lazy
Love, he would have no more to
say to him, but race him out of his
Heart, and out of his Memory.

He had setled himself in a very
pretty House, furnished with what
was fitting for the Reception of any
body of Quality that would live
a private Life, and they found all
the Respect that their Merits deserv’d
from all the World, every
body entirely loving and endeavouring
to serve them; and Isabella so
perfectly had the Ascendent over
her Aunt’s Heart, that she procur’d
from her all that she could desire,
and much more than she could expect.
She was perpetually progging
and saving all that she could, to enrich
and advance her, and, at last, par- E12v 96
pardoning and forgiving Henault,
lov’d him as her own Child; so
that all things look’d with a better
Face than before, and never was so
dear and fond a Couple seen, as
Henault and Isabella; but, at last,
she prov’d with Child, and the
Aunt, who might reasonably believe,
so young a Couple would
have a great many Children, and
foreseeing there was no Provision
likely to be made them, unless he
pleas’d his Father, for if the Aunt
should chance to dye, all their Hope
was gone; she therefore daily solicited
him to obey his Father, and
go to the Camp; and that having
atchiev’d Fame and Renown, he
would return a Favourite to his Father,
and Comfort to his Wife:
After she had solicited in vain, for
he was not able to endure the
thought of leaving Isabella, melancholy
as he was with his ill Fortune; the F1r 97
the Bishop, kinsman to Isabella, took
him to task, and urg’d his Youth
and Birth, and that he ought not
to wast both without Action, when
all the World was employ’d; and,
that since his Father had so great a
desire he should go into a Campagn,
either to serve the Venetian against
the Turks, or into the French Service,
which he lik’d best; he besought
him to think of it; and since
he had satisfy’d his Love, he should
and ought to satisfy his Duty, it
being absolutely necessary for the
wiping off the Stain of his Sacrilege,
and to gain him the favour of Heaven,
which, he found, had hitherto
been averse to all he had undertaken:
In fine, all his Friends, and
all who lov’d him, joyn’d in this
Design, and all thought it convenient,
nor was he insensible of the
Advantage it might bring him; but
Love, which every day grew fonder F and F1v 98
and fonder in his Heart, oppos’d all
their Reasonings, tho’ he saw all the
Brave Youth of the Age preparing
to go, either to one Army, or the

At last, he lets Isabella know, what
Propositions he had made him, both
by his Father, and his Relations;
at the very first Motion, she almost
fainted in his Arms, while he was
speaking, and it possess’d her with
so intire a Grief, that she miscarry’d,
to the insupportable Torment of her
tender Husband and Lover, so that,
to re-establish her Repose, he was
forc’d to promise not to go; however,
she consider’d all their Circumstances,
and weigh’d the Advantages
that might redound both
to his Honour and Fortune, by it;
and, in a matter of a Month’s time,
with the Persuasions and Reasons of
her Friends, she suffer’d him to resolve
upon going, her self determiningmining F2r 99
to retire to the Monastery,
till the time of his Return; but
when she nam’d the Monastery, he
grew pale and disorder’d, and obliged
her to promise him, not to enter
into it any more, for fear they should
never suffer her to come forth
again; so that he resolv’d not to
depart, till she had made a Vow to
him, never to go again within the
Walls of a Religious House, which
had already been so fatal to them.
She promis’d, and he believ’d.

Henault, at last, overcame his
Heart, which pleaded so for his Stay,
and sent his Father word, he was
ready to obey him, and to carry
the first Efforts of his Arms against
the common Foes of Christendom,
the Turks; his Father was very
well pleas’d at this, and sent him
Two thousand Crowns, his Horses
and Furniture sutable to his Quality,
and a Man to wait on him; so F2 that F2v 100
that it was not long e’re he got
himself in order to be gone, after a
dismal parting.

He made what hast he could to
the French Army, then under the
Command of the Monsignior, the
Duke of Beaufort
, then at Candia,
and put himself a Voluntier under
his Conduct; in which Station was
Villenoys, who, you have already
heard, was so passionate a Lover of
Isabella, who no sooner heard of
Henault’s being arriv’d, and that he
was Husband to Isabella, but he was
impatient to learn, by what strange
Adventure he came to gain her,
even from her Vow’d Retreat, when
he, with all his Courtship, could
not be so happy, tho’ she was then
free in the World, and Unvow’d to

As soon as he sent his Name to
Henault, he was sent for up, for
Henault had heard of Villenoys, and that F3r 101
that he had been a Lover of Isabella;
they receiv’d one another with all
the endearing Civility imaginable
for the aforesaid Reason, and for
that he was his Country-man, tho’
unknown to him, Villenoys being
gone to the Army, just as Henault
came from the Jesuits College. A
great deal of Endearment pass’d
between them, and they became,
from that moment, like two sworn
Brothers, and he receiv’d the whole
Relation from Henault, of his

It was not long before the Siege
began anew, for he arriv’d at the
beginning of the Spring, and, as
soon as he came, almost, they fell to
Action; and it happen’d upon a
day, that a Party of some Four
hundred Men resolv’d to sally out
upon the Enemy, as, when ever
they could, they did; but as it is
not my business to relate the History F3 of F3v 102
of the War, being wholly unacquainted
with the Terms of Battels,
I shall only say, That these Men
were led by Villenoys, and that Henault
would accompany him in this
Sally, and that they acted very
Noble, and great Things, worthy
of a Memory in the History of that
Siege; but this day, particularly,
they had an occasion to shew their
Valour, which they did very much
to their Glory; but, venturing too
far, they were ambush’d, in the persuit
of the Party of the Enemies,
and being surrounded, Villenoys had
the unhappiness to see his gallant
Friend fall, fighting and dealing of
Wounds around him, even as he descended
to the Earth, for he fell from
his Horse at the same moment that he
kill’d a Turk; and Villenoys could
neither assist him, nor had the satisfaction
to be able to rescue his dead
Body from under the Horses, but, with F4r 103
with much ado, escaping with his
own Life, got away, in spite of all
that follow’d him, and recover’d
the Town, before they could overtake
him: He passionately bewail’d
the Loss of this brave young Man,
and offer’d any Recompence to
those, that would have ventur’d to
have search’d for his dead Body among
the Slain; but it was not fit
to hazard the Living, for unnecessary
Services to the Dead; and
tho’ he had a great mind to have Interr’d
him, he rested content with
what he wish’d to pay his Friends
Memory, tho’ he could not: So that
all the Service now he could do him,
was, to write to Isabella, to whom
he had not writ, tho’ commanded
by her so to do, in three Years before,
which was never since she took
Orders. He gave her an Account of
the Death of her Husband, and how
Gloriously he fell fighting for the F4 Holy F4v 104
Holy Croß, and how much Honour
he had won, if it had been his Fate
to have outliv’d that great, but unfortunate,
Day, where, with 400
Men, they had kill’d 1500 of the
Enemy. The General Beaufort himself
had so great a Respect and
Esteem for this young Man, and
knowing him to be of Quality, that
he did him the honour to bemoan
him, and to send a Condoling Letter
to Isabella, how much worth her
Esteem he dy’d, and that he had
Eterniz’d his Memory with the last
Gasp of his Life.

When this News arriv’d, it may
be easily imagin’d, what Impressions,
or rather Ruins, it made in the
Heart of this fair Mourner; the Letters
came by his Man, who saw him
fall in Battel, and came off with
those few that escap’d with Villenoys;
he brought back what Money he
had, a few Jewels, with Isabella’s Picture F5r 105
Picture that he carry’d with him,
and had left in his Chamber in the
Fort at Candia, for fear of breaking
it in Action. And now Isabella’s
Sorrow grew to the Extremity, she
thought, she could not suffer more
than she did by his Absence, but
she now found a Grief more killing;
she hung her Chamber with
Black, and liv’d without the Light
of Day: Only Wax Lights, that
let her behold the Picture of this
Charming Man, before which she
daily sacrific’d Floods of Tears. He
had now been absent about ten
Months, and she had learnt just to
live without him, but Hope preserv’d
her then; but now she had
nothing, for which to wish to live.
She, for about two Months after the
News arriv’d, liv’d without seeing
any Creature but a young Maid,
that was her Woman; but extream
Importunity oblig’d her to give way F5 to F5v 106
to the Visits of her Friends, who
endeavour’d to restore her Melancholy
Soul to its wonted Easiness;
for however it was oppress’d within,
by Henault’s Absence, she bore
it off with a modest Chearfulness;
but now she found, that Fortitude
and Virtue fail’d her, when she
was assur’d, he was no more: She
continu’d thus Mourning, and thus
inclos’d, the space of a whole Year,
never suffering the Visit of any Man,
but of a near Relation; so that she
acquir’d a Reputation, such as never
any young Beauty had, for she was
now but Nineteen, and her Face
and Shape more excellent than ever;
she daily encreas’d in Beauty, which,
joyn’d to her Exemplary Piety,
Charity, and all other excellent Qualities,
gain’d her a wonderous Fame,
and begat an Awe and Reverence
in all that heard of her, and there
was no Man of any Quality, that did F6r 107
did not Adore her. After her Year
was up, she went to the Churches,
but would never be seen any where
else abroad, but that was enough
to procure her a thousand Lovers; and
some, who had the boldness to send
her Letters, which, if she reciev’d,
she gave no Answer to, and many
she sent back unread and unseal’d:
so that she would encourage none,
tho’ their Quality was far beyond
what she could hope; but she was
resolv’d to marry no more, however
her Fortune might require it.

It happen’d, that, about this time,
Candia being unfortunately taken
by the Turks, all the brave Men
that escap’d the Sword, return’d,
among them, Villenoys, who no
sooner arriv’d, but he sent to let
Isabella know of it, and to beg the
Honour of waiting on her; desirous
to learn what Fate befel her dear
Lord, she suffer’d him to visit her, where F6v 108
where he found her, in her Mourning,
a thousand times more Fair, (at
least, he fancy’d so) than ever she
appear’d to be; so that if he lov’d
her before, he now ador’d her; if
he burnt then, he rages now; but
the awful Sadness, and soft Languishment
of her Eyes, hinder’d him from
the presumption of speaking of his
Passion to her, tho’ it would have
been no new thing; and his first
Visit was spent in the Relation of
every Circumstance of Henault’s
Death; and, at his going away, he
begg’d leave to visit her sometimes,
and she gave him permission: He
lost no time, but made use of the
Liberty she had given him; and
when his Sister, who was a great
Companion of Isabella’s, went to see
her, he would still wait on her; so
that, either with his own Visits, and
those of his Sister’s, he saw Isabella
every day, and had the good luck to see, F7r 109
see, he diverted her, by giving her Relations
of Transactions of the Siege,
and the Customs and Manners of
the Turks: All he said, was with so
good a Grace, that he render’d
every thing agreeable; he was, besides,
very Beautiful, well made, of
Quality and Fortune, and fit to inspire

He made his Visits so often, and
so long, that, at last, he took the
Courage to speak of his Passion,
which, at first, Isabella would by no
means hear of, but, by degrees, she
yielded more and more to listen to
his tender Discourse; and he liv’d
thus with her two Years, before he
could gain any more upon her Heart,
than to suffer him to speak of Love
to her; but that, which subdu’d her
quite was, That her Aunt, the Lady
, dy’d, and, with her, all the
Hopes and Fortune of Isabella, so
that she was left with only a Charminging F7v 110
Face and Meen, a Virtue, and a
Discretion above her Sex, to make
her Fortune within the World; into
a Religious House she was resolv’d
not to go, because her Heart
deceiv’d her once, and she durst not
trust it again, whatever it promis’d.

The death of this Lady made her
look more favourably on Villenoys;
but yet, she was resolv’d to try his
Love to the utmost, and keep him
off, as long as ’twas possible she could
subsist, and ’twas for Interest she married
again, tho’ she lik’d the Person
very well; and since she was forc’d
to submit her self to be a second time
a Wife, she thought, she could live
better with Villenoys, than any other,
since for him she ever had a great
Esteem; and fancy’d, the Hand of
Heaven had pointed out her Destiny,
which she could not avoid, without
a Crime.

So that when she was again importun’dtun’d F8r 111
by her impatient Lover, she
told him, She had made a Vow to
remain three Years, at least, before she
would marry again, after the Death
of the best of Men and Husbands, and
him who had the Fruits of her early
Heart; and, notwithstanding all the
Solicitations of Villenoys, she would
not consent to marry him, till her
Vow of Widowhood was expir’d.

He took her promise, which he
urg’d her to give him, and to shew
the height of his Passion in his obedience;
he condescends to stay her
appointed time, tho’ he saw her every
day, and all his Friends and Relations
made her Visits upon this new account,
and there was nothing talk’d
on, but this design’d Wedding,
which, when the time was expir’d,
was perform’d accordingly with
great Pomp and Magnificence, for
Villenoys had no Parents to hinder
his Design; or if he had, the Reputationtation F8v 112
and Virtue of this Lady would
have subdu’d them.

The Marriage was celebrated in
this House, where she liv’d ever since
her Return from Germany, from the
time she got her Pardon; and when
Villenoys was preparing all things in
a more magnificent Order at his
Villa, some ten Miles from the City,
she was very melancholy, and would
often say, She had been us’d to such
profound Retreat, and to live without
the fatigue of Noise and Equipage,
that, she fear’d, she should
never endure the Grandeur, which
was proper for his Quality; and tho’
the House, in the Country, was the
most beautifully Situated in all Flanders,
she was afraid of a numerous
Train, and kept him, for the most
part, in this pretty City Mansion,
which he Adorn’d and Enlarg’d, as
much as she would give him leave;
so that there wanted nothing, to make F9r 113
make this House fit to receive the
People of the greatest Quality, little
as it was: But all the Servants and
Footmen, all but one Valet, and the
Maid, were lodg’d abroad, for Isabella,
not much us’d to the sight of
Men about her, suffer’d them as seldom
as possible, to come in her Presence,
so that she liv’d more like a
Nun still, than a Lady of the World;
and very rarely any Maids came
about her, but Maria, who had always
permission to come, when ever
she pleas’d, unless forbidden.

As Villenoys had the most tender &
violent Passion for his Wife, in the
World, he suffer’d her to be pleas’d
at any rate, and to live in what Method
she best lik’d, and was infinitely
satisfy’d with the Austerity
and manner of her Conduct, since
in his Arms, and alone, with him,
she wanted nothing that could
Charm; so that she was esteem’d, the F9v 114
the fairest and best of Wives, and
he the most happy of all Mankind.
When she would go abroad, she had
her Coaches Rich and Gay, and her
Livery ready to attend her in all
the Splendour imaginable; and he
was always buying one rich Jewel,
or Necklace, or some great Rarity
or other, that might please her; so
that there was nothing her Soul
could desire, which it had not, except
the Assurance of Eternal Happiness,
which she labour’d incessantly
to gain. She had no Discontent,
but because she was not bless’d with
a Child; but she submits to the pleasure
of Heaven, and endeavour’d,
by her good Works, and her Charity,
to make the Poor her Children,
and was ever doing Acts of Virtue,
to make the Proverb good, “That
more are the Children of the Barren,
than the Fruitful Woman”
. She liv’d
in this Tranquility, belov’d by all, for F10r 115
for the space of five Years, and Time
(and perpetual Obligations from Villenoys
who was the most indulgent
and indearing Man in the World)
had almost worn out of her Heart
the Thoughts of Henault, or if she
remember’d him, it was in her
Prayers, or sometimes with a short
Sigh, and no more, tho’ it was a
great while, before she could subdue
her Heart to that Calmness; but she
was prudent, and wisely bent all her
Endeavours to please, oblige, and
caress, the deserving Living, and to
strive all she could, to forget the
unhappy Dead, since it could not but
redound to the disturbance of her
Repose, to think of him; so that she
had now transferr’d all that Tenderness
she had for him, to Villenoys.

Villenoys, of all Diversions, lov’d
Hunting, and kept, at his Country
House, a very famous Pack of Dogs,
which he us’d to lend, sometimes, to a F10v 116
a young Lord, who was his dear
Friend, and his Neighbour in the
Country, who would often take
them, and be out two or three days
together, where he heard of Game,
and oftentimes Villenoys and he
would be a whole Week at a time
exercising in this Sport, for there was
no Game near at hand. This young
Lord had sent him a Letter, to invite
him fifteen Miles farther than his
own Villa, to hunt, and appointed to
meet him at his Country House, in
order to go in search of this promis’d
Game: So that Villenoys got about a
Week’s Provision, of what Necessaries
he thought he should want in
that time; and taking only his Valet,
who lov’d the Sport, he left Isabella
for a Week to her Devotion, and her
other innocent Diversions of fine
Work, at which she was Excellent,
and left the Town to go meet
this young Challenger.

When F11r 117

When Villenoys was at any time
out, it was the custom of Isabella to
retire to her Chamber, and to receive
no Visits, not even the Ladies, so absolutely
she devoted her self to her
Husband: All the first day she pass’d
over in this manner, and, Evening
being come, she order’d her Supper
to be brought to her Chamber, and,
because it was Washing-day the next
day, she order’d all her Maids to go
very early to Bed, that they might
be up betimes, and to leave only
Maria to attend her; which was
accordingly done. This Maria was
a young Maid, that was very discreet,
and, of all things in the World, lov’d
her Lady, whom she had liv’d with,
ever since she came from the Monastery.

When all were in Bed, and the little
light Supper just carry’d up to the
Lady, and only, as I said, Maria attending,
some body knock’d at the Gate, F11v 118
Gate, it being about Nine of the
Clock at Night; so Maria snatching
up a Candle, went to the Gate, to see
who it might be; when she open’d
the Door, she found a Man in a very
odd Habit, and a worse Countenance,
and asking, Who he would
speak with? He told her, Her Lady:
“My Lady” (reply’d Maria) “does not
use to receive Visits at this hour;
Pray, what is your Business?”
He reply’d,
“That which I will deliver only
to your Lady, and that she may give
me Admittance, pray, deliver her
this Ring”
: and pulling off a small
Ring, with Isabella’s Name and Hair
in it, he gave it Maria, who, shutting
the Gate upon him, went in with the
Ring; as soon as Isabella saw it, she
was ready to swound on the Chair
where she sate, and cry’d, “Where
had you this?”
Maria reply’d, “An
old rusty Fellow at the Gate gave it
me, and desired, it might be his Pasportport F12r 119
to you; I ask’d his Name, but he
said, You knew him not, but he had
great News to tell you.”
Isabella reply’d,
(almost swounding again)
“Oh, Maria! I am ruin’d.” The
Maid, all this while, knew not what
she meant, nor, that that was a Ring
given to Henault by her Mistress;
but endeavouring to recover her,
only ask’d her, What she should say
to the old Messenger? Isabella bid
her bring him up to her, (she had
scarce Life to utter these last words)
and before she was well recover’d,
Maria enter’d with the Man; and
Isabella making a Sign to her, to depart
the Room, she was left alone
with him.

Henault (for it was he) stood
trembling and speechless before her,
giving her leisure to take a strict
Survey of him; at first, finding no
Feature nor Part of Henault about
him, her Fears began to lessen, and she F12v 120
she hop’d, it was not he, as her first
Apprehensions had suggested; when
he (with the Tears of Joy standing
in his Eyes, and not daring suddenly
to approach her, for fear of encreasing
that Disorder he saw in her pale
Face) began to speak to her, and
cry’d, “Fair Creature! is there no
Remains of your Henault left in this
Face of mine, all o’regrown with
Hair? Nothing in these Eyes, sunk
with eight Years Absence from you,
and Sorrows? Nothing in this Shape,
bow’d with Labour and Griefs, that
can inform you? I was once that
happy Man you lov’d!”
At these
words, Tears stop’d his Speech, and
Isabella’s kept them Company, for
yet she wanted Words. Shame and
Confusion fill’d her Soul, and she was
not able to lift her Eyes up, to consider
the Face of him, whose Voice she
knew so perfectly well. In one
moment, she run over a thousand Thoughts. G1r 121
Thoughts. She finds, by his Return,
she is not only expos’d to all the
Shame imaginable; to all the Upbraiding,
on his part, when he shall
know she is marry’d to another;
but all the Fury and Rage of Villenoys,
and the Scorn of the Town,
who will look on her as an Adulteress:
She sees Henault poor, and
knew, she must fall from all the Glory
and Tranquility she had for five
happy Years triumph’d in; in which
time, she had known no Sorrow, or
Care, tho’ she had endur’d a thousand
with Henault. She dyes, to
think, however, that he should
know, she had been so lightly in Love
with him, to marry again; and she
dyes, to think, that Villenoys must see
her again in the Arms of Henault; besides,
she could not recal her Love,
for Love, like Reputation, once fled,
never returns more. ’Tis impossible
to love, and cease to love, (and love G ano- G1v 122
another) and yet return again to the
first Passion, tho’ the Person have all
the Charms, or a thousand times more
than it had, when it first conquer’d.
This Mistery in Love, it may be, is not
generally known, but nothing is more
certain. One may a while suffer the
Flame to languish, but there may be
a reviving Spark in the Ashes, rak’d
up, that may burn anew; but when
’tis quite extinguish’d, it never returns
or rekindles.

’Twas so with the Heart of Isabella;
had she believ’d, Henault had
been living, she had lov’d to the last
moment of their Lives; but, alas!
the Dead are soon forgotten, and she
now lov’d only Villenoys.

After they had both thus silently
wept, with very different Sentiments,
she thought, ’twas time to speak; and
dissembling as well as she could, she
caress’d him in her Arms, and told
him, She could not express her Surprizeprize G2r 123
and Joy for his Arrival. If she
did not Embrace him heartily, or
speak so Passionately as she us’d to
do, he fancy’d it her Confusion, and
his being in a condition not so fit to
receive Embraces from her; and
evaded them as much as ’twas possible
for him to do, in respect to her,
till he had dress’d his Face, and put
himself in order; but the Supper
being just brought up, when he
knock’d, she order’d him to sit down
and Eat, and he desir’d her, not to let
Maria know who he was, to see how
long it would be, before she knew
him or would call him to mind. But
Isabella commanded Maria, to make
up a Bed in such a Chamber, without
disturbing her Fellows, and dismiss’d
her from waiting at Table. The Maid
admir’d, what strange, good, and joyful
News, this Man had brought her
Mistress, that he was so Treated, and
alone with her, which never any Man G2 had G2v 124
had yet been; but she never imagin’d
the Truth, and knew her Lady’s Prudence
too well, to question her Conduct.
While they were at Supper,
Isabella oblig’d him to tell her, How
he came to be reported Dead; of
which, she receiv’d Letters, both from
Monsieur Villenoys, and the Duke of
, and by his Man the News,
who saw him Dead? He told her,
That, after the Fight, of which, first,
he gave her an account, he being left
among the Dead, when the Enemy
came to Plunder and strip ’em, they
found, he had Life in him, and appearing
as an Eminent Person, “they
thought it better Booty to save me,”

(continu’d he) “and get my Ransom,
than to strip me, and bury me among
the Dead; so they bore me off to a
Tent, and recover’d me to Life;
and, after that, I was recover’d of my
Wounds, and sold, by the Soldier
that had taken me, to a Spahee, who kept G3r 125
kept me a Slave, setting a great Ransom
on me, such as I was not able to
pay. I writ several times, to give
you, and my Father, an account of
my Misery, but receiv’d no Answer,
and endur’d seven Years of dreadful
Slavery: When I found, at last, an
opportunity to make my Escape, and
from that time, resolv’d, never to cut
the Hair of this Beard, till I should
either see my dearest Isabella again, or
hear some News of her. All that I
fear’d, was, That she was Dead;”
at that word, he fetch’d a deep Sigh;
and viewing all things so infinitely
more Magnificent than he had left
’em, or, believ’d, she could afford;
and, that she was far more Beautiful
in Person, and Rich in Dress, than
when he left her: He had a thousand
Torments of Jealousie that seiz’d
him, of which, he durst not make any
mention, but rather chose to wait a
little, and see, whether she had lost G3 her G3v 126
her Virtue: He desir’d, he might send
for a Barber, to put his Face in some
handsomer Order, and more fit for
the Happiness ’twas that Night to
receive; but she told him, No Dress,
no Disguise, could render him more
Dear and Acceptable to her, and that
to morrow was time enough, and that
his Travels had render’d him more fit
for Repose, than Dressing. So that
after a little while, they had talk’d
over all they had a mind to say, all
that was very indearing on his side,
and as much Concern as she could
force, on hers; she conducted him
to his Chamber, which was very rich,
and which gave him a very great addition
of Jealousie: However, he suffer’d
her to help him to Bed, which
she seem’d to do, with all the tenderness
in the World; and when she
had seen him laid, she said, She would
go to her Prayers, and come to him
as soon as she had done, which being be- G4r 127
before her usual Custom, it was not
a wonder to him she stay’d long,
and he, being extreamly tir’d with
his Journy, fell asleep. ’Tis true,
Isabella essay’d to Pray, but, alas! it
was in vain, she was distracted with
a thousand Thoughts what to do,
which the more she thought, the
more it distracted her; she was a
thousand times about to end her
Life, and, at one stroke, rid her self of
the Infamy, that, she saw, must inevitably
fall upon her; but Nature was
frail, & the Tempter strong: And after
a thousand Convulsions, even worse
than Death it self, she resolv’d upon
the Murder of Henault, as the only
means of removing all Obstacles to
her future Happiness; she resolv’d on
this, but after she had done so, she
was seiz’d with so great Horror, that
she imagin’d, if she perform’d it, she
should run Mad; and yet, if she did
not, she should be also Frantick, with G4 the G4v 128
the Shames and Miseries that would
befal her; and believing the Murder
the least Evil, since she could never
live with him, she fix’d her Heart on
that; and causing her self to be put
immediately to Bed, in her own Bed,
she made Maria go to hers, and when
all was still, she softly rose, and taking
a Candle with her, only in her Night-
Gown and Slippers, she goes to the
Bed of the Unfortunate Henault, with
a Penknife in her hand; but considering,
she knew not how to conceal
the Blood, should she cut his Throat,
she resolves to Strangle him, or Smother
him with a Pillow; that last
Thought was no sooner borne, but
put in Execution; and, as he soundly
slept, she smother’d him without any
Noise, or so much as his Strugling:
But when she had done this dreadful
Deed, and saw the dead Corps of
her once-lov’d Lord, lye Smiling (as
it were) upon her, she fell into a Swound G5r 129
Swound with the Horror of the
Deed, and it had been well for her
she had there dy’d; but she reviv’d
again, and, awaken’d to more and
new Horrors, she flyes all frighted
from the Chambers, and fancies, the
Phantom of her dead Lord pursues
her; she runs from Room to Room,
and starts and stares, as if she saw
him continually before her. Now
all that was ever Soft and Dear to
her, with him, comes into her Heart,
and, she finds, he conquers anew,
being Dead, who could not gain her
Pity, while Living.

While she was thus flying from her
Guilt, in vain, she hears one knock
with Authority at the Door: She is
now more affrighted, if possible, and
knows not whither to fly for Refuge;
she fancies, they are already
the Officers of Justice, and that Ten
thousand Tortures and Wrecks are
fastening on her, to make her confess G5 the G5v 130
the horrid Murder; the knocking
increases, and so loud, that the
Laundry Maids believing it to be
the Woman that us’d to call them
up, and help them to Wash, rose,
and, opening the Door, let in Villenoys;
who having been at his Country
Villa, and finding there a Footman,
instead of his Friend, who
waited to tell him, His Master was
fallen sick of the Small Pox, and
could not wait on him, he took
Horse, and came back to his lovely
Isabella; but running up, as he us’d
to do, to her Chamber, he found her
not, and seeing a Light in another
Room, he went in, but found Isabella
flying from him, out at another
Door, with all the speed she could,
he admires at this Action, and the
more, because his Maid told him Her
Lady had been a Bed a good while;
he grows a little Jealous, and persues
her, but still she flies; at last, he caught G6r 131
caught her in his Arms, where she
fell into a swound, but quickly recovering,
he set her down in a
Chair, and, kneeling before her, implor’d
to know what she ayl’d, and
why she fled from him, who ador’d
her? She only fix’d a ghastly Look
upon him, and said, She was not
well: “Oh!” (said he) “put not me off
with such poor Excuses, Isabella never
fled from me, when Ill, but came to my
Arms, and to my Bosom, to find a Cure;
therefore, tell me, what’s the matter?”

At that, she fell a weeping in a most
violent manner, and cry’d, She was
for ever undone: He, being mov’d
with Love and Compassion, conjur’d
her to tell what she ayl’d; “Ah!” (said
she) “thou and I, and all of us, are undone!”
At this, he lost all Patience,
and rav’d, and cry’d, “Tell me, and
tell me immediately, what’s the matter?”
When she saw his Face pale,
and his Eyes fierce, she fell on her knees, G6v 132
knees, and cry’d, “Oh! you can never
Pardon me, if I should tell you, and yet,
alas! I am innocent of Ill, by all that’s
good, I am.”
But her Conscience
accusing her at that word, she was
silent. “If thou art Innocent”, said
Villenoys, taking her up in his Arms,
and kissing her wet Face, “By all that’s
Good, I Pardon thee, what ever thou
hast done.”
“Alas!” (said she) “Oh!
but I dare not name it, ’till you swear.”

“By all that’s Sacred,” (reply’d he) “and
by whatever Oath you can oblige me to;
by my inviolable Love to thee, and by
thy own Self, I swear, whate’re it
be, I do forgive thee; I know, thou art
too good to commit a Sin I may not,
with Honour, pardon.”

With this, and hearten’d by his
Caresses, she told him, That Henault
was return’d; and repeating to him
his Escape, she said, She had put him
to Bed, and when he expected her
to come, she fell on her Knees at the Bed- G7r 133
Bed-side, and confess’d, She was married
to Villenoys; at that word, (said
she) he fetch’d a deep Sigh or two,
and presently after, with a very little
struggling, dy’d; and, yonder, he
lyes still in the Bed. After this, she
wept so abundantly, that all Villenoys
could do, could hardly calm her
Spirits: but after, consulting what
they should do in this Affair, Villenoys
ask’d her, Who of the House
saw him? She said, Only Maria, who
knew not who he was; so that, resolving
to save Isabella’s Honour,
which was the only Misfortune to
come, Villenoys himself propos’d
the carrying him out to the Bridge,
and throwing him into the River,
where the Stream would carry him
down to the Sea, and lose him; or,
if he were found, none could know
him. So Villenoys took a Candle,
and went and look’d on him, and
found him altogether chang’d, that no G7v 134
no Body would know who he was;
he therefore put on his Clothes,
which was not hard for him to do,
for he was scarce yet cold, and comforting
again Isabella, as well as he
could, he went himself into the Stable,
and fetch’d a Sack, such as they
us’d for Oats, a new Sack, whereon
stuck a great Needle, with a Packthread
in it; this Sack he brings into
the House, and shews to Isabella, telling
her, He would put the Body in
there, for the better convenience of
carrying it on his Back. Isabella all
this while said but little, but, fill’d
with Thoughts all Black and Hellish,
she ponder’d within, while the
Fond and Passionate Villenoys was
endeavouring to hide her Shame, and
to make this an absolute Secret: She
imagin’d, that could she live after
a Deed so black, Villenoys would be
eternal reproaching her, if not with
his Tongue, at least with his Heart, and G8r 135
and embolden’d by one Wickedness,
she was the readier for another, and
another of such a Nature, as has, in
my Opinion, far less Excuse, than the
first; but when Fate begins to afflict,
she goes through-stitch with her
Black Work.

When Villenoys, who would, for
the Safety of Isabella’s Honour, be
the sole Actor in the disposing of this
Body; and since he was Young, Vigorous,
and Strong, and able to
bear it, would trust no one with the
Secret, he having put up the Body,
and ty’d it fast, set it in a Chair,
turning his Back towards it, with
the more conveniency to take it upon
his Back, bidding Isabella give
him the two Corners of the Sack in
his Hands; telling her, They must
do this last Office for the Dead,
more, in order to the securing their
Honour and Tranquility hereafter,
than for any other Reason, and bid he G8v 136
her be of good Courage, till he came
back, for it was not far to the Bridge,
and it being the dead of the Night,
he should pass well enough. When
he had the Sack on his Back, and
ready to go with it, she cry’d, “Stay,
my Dear, some of his Clothes hang
out, which I will put in”
; and, with
that, taking the Pack-needle with
the Thread, sew’d the Sack, with
several strong Stitches, to the Coller
of Villenoy’s Coat, without his
perceiving it, and bid him go now;
“and when you come to the Bridge,”
(said she) “and that you are throwing
him over the Rail, (which is not
above Breast high) be sure you give
him a good swing, lest the Sack
should hang on any thing at the side
of the Bridge, and not fall into the
“I’le warrant you,” (said Villenoys)
“I know how to secure his
And going his way with
it, Love lent him Strength, and he soon G9r 137
soon arriv’d at the Bridge; where,
turning his Back to the Rail, and
heaving the Body over, he threw
himself with all his force backward,
the better to swing the Body into
the River, whose weight (it being
made fast to his Collar) pull’d Villenoys
after it, and both the live and
the dead Man falling into the River,
which, being rapid at the Bridge,
soon drown’d him, especially when
so great a weight hung to his Neck;
so that he dy’d, without considering
what was the occasion of his Fate.

Isabella remain’d the most part of
the Night sitting in her Chamber,
without going to Bed, to see what
would become of her Damnable
Design; but when it was towards
Morning, and she heard no News,
she put her self into Bed, but not
to find Repose or Rest there, for
that she thought impossible, after so
great a Barbarity as she had committed:mitted: G9v 138
“No,” (said she) “it is but
just, I should for ever wake, who
have, in one fatal Night, destroy’d
two such Innocents. Oh! what
Fate, what Destiny, is mine? Under
what cursed Planet was I born,
that Heaven it self could not divert
my Ruine? It was not many Hours
since I thought my self the most
happy and blest of Women, and
now am fallen to the Misery of one
of the worst Fiends of Hell.”

Such were her Thoughts, and such
her Cryes, till the Light brought on
new Matter for Grief; for, about
Ten of the Clock, News was
brought, that two Men were found
dead in the River, and that they
were carry’d to the Town-Hall, to
lye there, till they were own’d:
Within an hour after, News was
brought in, that one of these Unhappy
Men was Villenoys; his Valet,
who, all this while, imagin’d him in G10r 139
in Bed with his Lady, ran to the
Hall, to undeceive the People, for
he knew, if his Lord were gone
out, he should have been call’d to
Dress him; but finding it, as ’twas
reported, he fell a weeping, and
wringing his Hands, in a most miserable
manner, he ran home with
the News; where, knocking at his
Lady’s Chamber Door, and finding
it fast lock’d, he almost hop’d again,
he was deceiv’d; but Isabella rising,
and opening the Door, Maria first
enter’d weeping, with the News, and
then brought the Valet, to testify
the fatal Truth of it. Isabella, tho’
it were nothing but what she expected
to hear, almost swounded in her
Chair; nor did she feign it, but felt
really all the Pangs of Killing Grief;
and was so alter’d with her Night’s
Watching and Grieving, that this
new Sorrow look’d very Natural in
her. When she was recover’d, she ask’d G10v 140
ask’d a thousand Questions about
him, and question’d the Possibility
of it; “for” (said she) “he went out
this Morning early from me, and had
no signs, in his Face, of any Grief,
or Discontent.”
“Alas!” (said the Valet)
“Madam, he is not his own Murderer,
some one has done it in Revenge;”
and then told her, how he
was found fasten’d to a Sack, with a
dead strange Man ty’d up within it;
and every body concludes, that they
were both first murder’d, and then
drawn to the River, and thrown
both in. At the Relation of this
Strange Man, she seem’d more amaz’d
than before, and commanding the
Valet to go to the Hall, and to take
Order about the Coroner’s sitting
on the Body of Villenoys, and then to
have it brought home: She call’d
Maria to her, and, after bidding her
shut the Door, she cry’d, “Ah, Maria! I
will tell thee what my Heart imagins; but G11r 141
but first,”
(said she) “run to the Chamber
of the Stranger, and see, if he be
still in Bed, which I fear he is not;”
did so, and brought word, he was
gone; “then” (said she) “my Forebodings
are true. When I was in Bed
last Night, with Villenoys,”
(and at
that word, she sigh’d as if her Heart-
Strings had broken) “I told him, I had
lodg’d a Stranger in my House, who
was by, when my first Lord and
Husband fell in Battel; and that,
after the Fight, finding him yet alive,
he spoke to him, and gave him
that Ring you brought me last
Night; and conjur’d him, if ever
his Fortune should bring him to
Flanders, to see me, and give me
that Ring, and tell me―”
that, she wept, and could scarce
speak) “a thousand tender and endearing
things, and then dy’d in
his Arms. For my dear Henault’s
(said she) “I us’d him nobly, and G11v 142
and dismiss’d you that Night, because
I was asham’d to have any Witness
of the Griefs I paid his Memory:
All this I told to Villenoys, whom I
found disorder’d; and, after a sleepless
Night, I fancy he got up, and
took this poor Man, and has occasion’d
his Death”
: At that, she wept
anew, and Maria, to whom, all that
her Mistress said, was Gospel, verily
believ’d it so, without examining
Reason; and Isabella conjuring her,
since none of the House knew of the
old Man’s being there, (for Old he
appear’d to be) that she would let
it for ever be a Secret, and, to this,
she bound her by an Oath; so that
none knowing Henault, altho’ his
Body was expos’d there for three
Days to Publick View: When the
Coroner had Set on the Bodies, he
found, they had been first Murder’d
some way or other, and then afterwards
tack’d together, and thrown into G12r 143
into the River, they brought the
Body of Villenoys home to his House,
where, it being laid on a Table, all
the House infinitely bewail’d it; and
Isabella did nothing but swound away,
almost as fast as she recover’d
Life; however, she would, to compleat
her Misery, be led to see this
dreadful Victim of her Cruelty, and,
coming near the Table, the Body,
whose Eyes were before close shut,
now open’d themselves wide, and
fix’d them on Isabella, who, giving
a great Schreek, fell down in a
swound, and the Eyes clos’d again;
they had much ado to bring her to
Life, but, at last, they did so, and led
her back to her Bed, where she remain’d
a good while. Different
Opinions and Discourses were made,
concerning the opening of the Eyes
of the Dead Man, and viewing Isabella;
but she was a Woman of so
admirable a Life and Conversation, of G12v 144
of so undoubted a Piety and Sanctity
of Living, that not the least
Conjecture could be made, of her
having a hand in it, besides the improbability
of it; yet the whole
thing was a Mystery, which, they
thought, they ought to look into:
But a few Days after, the Body of
Villenoys being interr’d in a most
magnificent manner, and, by Will,
all he had, was long since setled on
Isabella, the World, instead of Suspecting
her, Ador’d her the more,
and every Body of Quality was already
hoping to be next, tho’ the
fair Mourner still kept her Bed, and
Languish’d daily.

It happen’d, not long after this,
there came to the Town a French
Gentleman, who was taken at the
Siege of Candia, and was Fellow-
Slave with Henault, for seven Years,
in Turky, and who had escap’d with
Henault, and came as far as Liege with H1r 145
with him, where, having some Business
and Acquaintance with a Merchant,
he stay’d some time; but
when he parted with Henault, he
ask’d him, Where he should find
him in Flanders? Henault gave him
a Note, with his Name, and Place
of Abode, if his Wife were alive;
if not, to enquire at his Sister’s, or
his Father’s. This French Man came,
at last, to the very House of Isabella,
enquiring for this Man, and
receiv’d a strange Answer, and was
laugh’d at: He found, that was the
House, and that the Lady; and enquiring
about the Town, and speaking
of Henault’s Return, describing
the Man, it was quickly discover’d,
to be the same that was in the Sack:
He had his Friend taken up, (for
he was buried) and found him the same,
and, causing a Barber to Trim him,
when his bushy Beard was off, a
great many People remember’d him; H and H1v 146
and the French Man affirming, he
went to his own Home, all Isabella’s
Family, and her self, were cited before
the Magistrate of Justice, where,
as soon as she was accus’d, she confess’d
the whole Matter of Fact, and,
without any Disorder, deliver’d her
self in the Hands of Justice, as the
Murderess of two Husbands (both
belov’d) in one Night: The whole
World stood amaz’d at this, who
knew her Life a Holy and Charitable
Life, and how dearly and well she
had liv’d with her Husbands, and
every one bewail’d her Misfortune,
and she alone was the only Person,
that was not afflicted for her self; she
was Try’d, and Condemn’d to lose
her Head; which Sentence, she joyfully
receiv’d, and said, Heaven, and
her Judges, were too Merciful to her,
and that her Sins had deserv’d much

While she was in Prison, she was al- H2r 147
always at Prayers, and very Chearful
and Easie, distributing all she
had amongst, and for the Use of, the
Poor of the Town, especially to the
Poor Widows; exhorting daily, the
Young, and the Fair, that came perpetually
to visit her, never to break
a Vow; for that was first the Ruine
of her, and she never since prosper’d,
do whatever other good Deeds she
could. When the Day of Execution
came, she appear’d on the Scaffold
all in Mourning, but with a
Meen so very Majestick and Charming,
and a Face so surprizing Fair,
where no Languishment or Fear appear’d,
but all Chearful as a Bride,
that she set all Hearts a flaming, even
in that mortifying Minute of Preparation
for Death: She made a Speech
of half an Hour long, so Eloquent,
so admirable a Warning to the Vow-
, that it was as amazing to
hear her, as it was to behold her.

Af- H2v 148

After she had done with the help
of Maria, she put off her Mourning
Vail, and, without any thing over
her Face, she kneel’d down, and the
Executioner, at one Blow, sever’d
her Beautiful Head from her Delicate
Body, being then in her Seven
and Twentieth Year. She was generally
Lamented, and Honourably

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